Saturday, August 11, 2012

Flesh eating bacteria, or "necrotizing fasciitis"

Flesh eating bacteria, or "necrotizing fasciitis" is a rare infection but can be fatal if not treated properly. It is a kind of bacterial infection that spreads quickly, and cause tissue death at the infection site and beyond.

People can get this disease after being infected by the group A Streptococcus (GAS) bacteria. It is the same bacteria that causes strep throat. The bacteria can enter the body through insect bites, minor surgery, minor cuts, and abrasions. Once the body infected, the infection agressively destroys muscle, skin, and fat tissue.

Here are flesh eating bacteria symptoms.

► Local skin warmth. The infected skin appears red and hot when touched. The warm areas enlarge as the infection spreads. The skin color can change from red to dusky gray, and it is a sign of skin death.
► Pain. Severe pain may be an early symptom of flesh eating bacteria. The pain can worsen prior to the development of an open sore. This pain is caused by nerve damage around the site of injury or wound.
► Tissue swelling. There is a swelling in the infected area that can progressively advances as the infection continues. The overlying area is shiny and taut.
► Skin blisters. Skin blisters may develop on the infected skin. The characteristic of skin blister caused by flesh eating bacteria is crackling and popping sensation when the skin is pressed. It is called "crepitus".
► Skin ulcer. The ulcer grows as the infection spreads. It contains white fluid with bad odor.
► Foul odor. It caused by dead skin.
► High fever.
► Malaise. People infected by flesh eating bacteria often show the symptoms of generalized weakness.
► Fainting. It may be caused by low blood pressure as the disease progresses.

Flesh eating bacteria treatment

► Hospitalized is needed.
► Intravenous antibiotic therapy.
► Wound debridement (such as minor surgery to remove dead skin and damaged tissue to help stopping the spread of infection)
► Symptomatic medications: antipiretics, analgetics.

Please consult your physician to get complete examination and information about this disease.