review our main write-up on necrotizing fasciitis, additionally known together flesh-eating bacteria and also flesh-eating condition »Media reports have actually popularized the term flesh-eating bacteria to refer to a form of very rare but serious bacterial infection known as necrotizing fasciitis. Necrotizing fasciitis is an infection that starts in the organization just below the skin and also spreads follow me the level layers of organization (fascia) the separate various layers of soft tissue, such together muscle and also fat. This dangerous and also potentially deadly infection most typically occurs in the arms, legs, and also abdominal wall and is fatal in 30%-40% that cases.

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although necrotizing fasciitis may be caused by an infection with one or an ext than one bacterium, in most cases, the ax flesh-eating bacteria has actually been applied to describe infections resulted in by the bacterium recognized as Streptococcus pyogenes. The term flesh-eating has been used since the bacterial infection produces toxins that destroy tissues such together muscles, skin, and also fat.Streptococcus pyogenes is a member of the team A streptococci, a group of bacteria that are generally responsible because that mild sore neck (pharyngitis) and also skin infections. Rarely, this type of strep bacterium reasons severe illnesses together as toxic shock syndrome and necrotizing fasciitis. Many infections with group A streptococci result in gentle illness and may not even create symptoms.

Sometimes, other bacteria, including Klebsiella, Clostridium, E. Coli, Staphylococcus aureus, or even a mix of various bacteria may produce necrotizing fasciitis. In 2012, a case was reported of a young mrs who experienced a zip-lining accident top top a flow in West Georgia. She contracted an infection v the bacteria Aeromonas hydrophila, which produced a necrotizing infection that led to the lose of a leg and component of her abdomen. Vibrio vulnificus is a type of bacteria found in brackish water that has actually caused necrotizing fasciitis in swimmers who have been in infected water with open wounds.


The early on stage the necrotizing fasciitis is defined by symptom of redness, swelling, and also pain in the impacted area. Blisters may be seen in the involved area the skin. Fever, nausea, vomiting, and also other flu-like symptoms are common. Another characteristic of necrotizing fasciitis is the the symptoms develop really rapidly, normally within 24 hrs after a wound in the skin has permitted the bacteria to invade the organization beneath the skin. The pain is described as being much more severe than would certainly be supposed from the figure of the wound. Late symptoms have the right to include death (gangrene) of influenced areas through scaling, discoloration, or skin of the skin. Amputation of impacted extremities is occasionally necessary.

Many of the people who have arisen necrotizing fasciitis have been in good health before occurring the condition. Civilization with chronic medical conditions (for instance diabetes and cancer) or who have actually weakened immune systems room at an raised risk of emerging necrotizing fasciitis. Current wounds (including operation incisions) and recent famous infections that reason a decision (such together chickenpox) may constitute an enhanced risk. Nevertheless, healthy world with strong immune systems have a an extremely low threat of developing necrotizing fasciitis if castle practice proper hygiene and wound care. Necrotizing fasciitis is not extremely contagious and also is just rarely spread out from human to person. Usually, epidemic occurs by the bacteria entering the body with open areas on the skin.

Necrotizing fasciitis is treated through antibiotics, and early therapy is critical. Hospitalization, usually through treatment in the intensive-care unit (ICU), is required. Surgery to remove infected fluids and tissue is nearly always necessary, in addition to medications to treat shock and also other potential complications.

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Good hygiene practices are the best way to avoid a bacterial epidemic of the skin. Avoidance of infection consists of avoidance of swimming in pools or open up water sources, or soaking in hot tubs, with open up wounds or sores. Additionally, keeping open wounds spanned with dry bandages until healed, washing hands often, and proper treatment of wounds and injuries, consisting of scrapes, blisters, and also cuts, deserve to prevent necrotizing fasciitis.

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medically reviewed by Robert Cox, MD; American board of interior Medicine with subspecialty in infectious DiseaseREFERENCES:Schwartz, Robert A. "Dermatologic Manifestations of Necrotizing Fasciitis." Medscape.com. May 4, 2015. .United States. Centers for an illness Control and also Prevention. "Necrotizing Fasciitis: A rare Disease, particularly for the Healthy." June 15, 2015. .
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