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Carnivorous Bacteria: How To Prevent Necrotizing Fasciitis This Summer



From California to Texas and across the country to Florida, a dangerous and potentially fatal infection apparently dominated the news this summer: necrotizing fasciitis, colloquially referred to as carnivorous bacteria. Carnivorous bacterial infections – which in severe cases can lead to amputations and even death – can occur when people with an open cut or open wound enter a spa, pool, lake, or ocean and invade bacteria. Although necrotizing fasciitis can be caused by more than one type of bacteria, the most common cause of group A streptococci (group A Strep) is in disease control and prevention centers.

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Annually, according to the CDC, since 201

0, approximately 700 to 1,200 cases of necrotizing fasciitis have been reported by Group A Strep. However, the Federal Health Office stated that this was "probably an underestimate".

What you should know about necrotizing fasciitis this summer.

What is necrotizing fasciitis? A rare bacterial infection that spreads quickly in the body and can lead to death, "says the CDC.

How is it contracted?

"Carnivorous bacteria invade the body through a skin incision or an open wound and spread there from soft tissue, like the muscles. If the infection is left untreated, it can enter the bloodstream, "Dr. Mike Sevilla, an Ohio-based family doctor, told Fox News.

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"People with a compromised immune system, such as those with cancer or liver problems, are at greater risk for the progression of bacteria to necrotizing fasciitis. "

I'm afraid I'm infected. What should I do?

Act fast.

"What worries us is a deterioration of carnivorous bacteria in a disease process called necrotizing fasciitis," said Sevilla "Inflammation of the fascia," according to the CDC, who explained that fascia is the "tissue under the skin that Muscles, nerves, fat and blood vessels surround ".

Also check your symptoms, demanded Sevilla.

] "Symptoms may appear as early as a few hours after infection, appearing as a bright red, swollen and shiny wound," said Sevilla. The symptoms "can then lead to severe pain, fever, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea".

"It is very important for patients to see a doctor immediately if they notice these symptoms," he added.

What is the biggest mistake you have to make in dealing with a possible infection?

"The biggest mistake people make is not to recognize necrotizing fasciitis fast enough. One of the first signs could be muscle pain, which people misunderstand as a pulled muscle, "he said. "This infection can get worse within a few hours, and if treatment is delayed, the patient often has to be hospitalized."

How can I avoid necrotizing fasciitis? Bacteria can be found in lakes and oceans. Practicing good hygiene is essential for the [the] prevention of necrotizing fasciitis. Persons with open wounds or active infections should cover them with dry, clean bandages and avoid waters, including swimming pools and whirlpools. "Sevilla advised.

"After swimming, be sure to wash your body with soap and water," he added.

Fox News & # 39; Alex Hein contributed to this report.


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