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Woman Who Contracted Bacterial Infection Caused By Dog’s Saliva Dies

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Photo of Hannah Rinehart. (credit: hannahrinehart.org)

Photo of Hannah Rinehart. (credit: hannahrinehart.org)

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DECATUR, Ga. (CBS Atlanta) — A woman who was battling a rare bacterial infection that is primarily found in the saliva of dogs has died.

Hannah Rinehart, 32, a three-time cancer survivor, died early Wednesday morning at Northside Hospital from the capnocytophaga bacterial infection she had been battling since July.

“At exactly 4:15 this morning, Hannah Johnson Rinehart went to be with the Lord,” Mark Rinehart, her husband, wrote on a website he set up for his wife. “She is celebrating, and I am thankful for God allowing me to have the privilege of being her husband while she was here on this Earth. Family was present, and when Hannah was ready to go, she left quickly.”

Rinehart, a former patient care technician in DeKalb County, had her hands and feet amputated July 26 due to the flesh-eating bacteria. The infection also caused her to suffer from septic shock.

Mark Rinehart, a Gwinnett County school teacher, believed the infection came from their 1-year-old dog, but doesn’t know if the dog ever bit her and punctured her skin.

Mark Rinehart tried to get the school district to allow employees to donate their sick leave so he could be with his sick wife, but the district wouldn’t allow it, saying doing so would violate their personnel policy.

Funeral services for Hannah Rinehart will be held Saturday at the North Lanier Baptist Church in Cumming.

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