(necr/o death fasc/o band, muscle/ itis inflammation)
Necrotizing fasciitis (NF) , commonly known as flesh-eating disease or flesh-eating bacteria, is a rare infection of the deeper layers of skin and subcutaneous tissues (layer of fat and connective tissue), easily spreading across the fascial plane within the subcutaneous tissue. (muscle and fat are broken down) It is life threatening.
Necrotizing fasciitis is most commonly caused by a strain of A streptococcus, the same bacterium that causes streptococcus pharyngitis or strep throat. The bacteria can enter the body through cuts such as surgical wounds from an episiotomy (an incision through the perineum (area between the pubic symphysis and coccyx made to enlarge the vagina and assist in child birth) or a herniorrhaphy (sutured hernia) for example. In rare cases the bacteria produces poisons that damage the soft tissue below the skin and cause more dangerous infection that can spread quickly along the tissue of the muscle. The bacteria can also travel through the blood to the lungs and other organs. With this said, the actual “death” of the skin can occur far from where it entered the body. Another type of necrotizing fasciitis may be caused by multiple bacteria found in the intestine. People with gunshot injuries, intestinal surgery, or surgery in the lower digestive tract develop it.
People at risk include: those who have a weakened immune system or lack the proper antibodies to fight off the infection, those who have chronic health problems such as diabetes, cancer, or liver or kidney disease, have recently had chicken pox or other viral infections that cause a rash, and those who use steroid medicines, which can lower the body’s resistance to infection.
This CAN be passed person to person but the person it is passed to is unlikely to develop a severe infection unless there is an open wound or an impaired immune system.
Symptoms of necrotizing...