A Marine stationed at Twentynine Palms died just eight hours after a flesh-eating disease diagnosis, officials said.
Pfc. William Becket Kiernan, 18, died of a bacterial skin infection known as necrotizing fasciitis on Feb. 4.
No additional cases of necrotizing fasciitis have been reported at the Marine Corps base, Capt. Karen Holliday told Marine Corps Times.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention “confirms that necrotizing fasciitis is not communicable,” Holliday said. “The most common way of getting necrotizing fasciitis is when the bacteria enter the body through a break in the skin. This can include cuts, scrapes, burns, insect bites or puncture wounds.”
The Marine was training to become a radio field operator, his mother, Lynda Drennan Kiernan, told the Boston Globe.
A wake will be at the Saunders-Dwyer Funeral Home in Mattapoisett, Massachusetts, on Thursday, with a funeral Mass Friday at 9:30 a.m. at St. Anthony’s Church.
“He was an avid reader, and studied military history,” his mother told the Staten Island Advance. “His goal was to be a Marine, and he achieved that.”
Andrea Scott is editor of Marine Corps Times.