More and more cases of people ending up in the hospital or, even worse, dying after becoming infected with necrotizing fasciitis, more commonly known as ‘flesh-eating bacteria,’ appear. People, who fell victim to this horrible bacterium, were on vacation, near bodies of water, such as rivers, lakes and the ocean.
What is necrotizing fasciitis?
Necrotizing fasciitis is an infection that has the death of the soft tissue of the body as a consequence. The bacterium penetrates the body if there is a cut or burns on the skin, and it spreads very quickly.
The methods employed to defend against the infection are appropriate wound care and washing hands. If contracted, surgery is needed to get rid of the infected tissue along with the administration of intravenous antibiotics.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention declares that there is a multitude of bacteria (between 20 and 30 types) that can transform into a flesh-eating organism. For example, group A Streptococcus, the one that is the source of sore throats, can become one. Vibrio vulnificus is the bacteria that is correlated with saltwater and the ingestion of raw oysters, while Aeromonas is the bacteria that is associated with freshwater. Vibrio parahaemolyticus is another type of flesh-eating bacteria.
Who contracts flesh-eating bacteria and why?
Older people are more susceptible to become infected with the bacteria, while the children are the most unlikely to contract it. In the US, 0.4 people in 100,000 end up being afflicted with the flesh-eating bacteria, while in Europe, one person in 100,000 is infected. There would be a 25-35% risk of death if a person caught it.
The infection is more commonly found near warm bodies of water, especially in summer months as people go to the ocean or sea or spend their holidays near lakes. People that suffer from immunosuppression, diabetes, alcoholism/drug abuse/smoking, malignancies, and chronic systemic diseases can be easily affected because their immune system is already weak. It is worth mentioning that necrotizing fasciitis is not contagious.