Flesh Eating Bacterial Infection And Diabetes

People have recently heard about many victims of flesh eating bacteria. It may also have them create scary thoughts of going down with such a condition. But before more and more people begin to panic that this would become an epidemic, here are some important things that people should know about the so-called flesh eating bacteria. And for diabetics, it may be something that they should be watching out for.

What Is It?

What people may have read about in the news about flesh eating bacteria is known in medical circles as necrotizing fasciitis. It is a very rare and yet very serious type of bacterial infection. It is characterized by an infection that starts in the tissues just below the skin and then spreads along the fascia, flat layers of tissue that separates the different layers of soft tissue like muscle and fat.

The reason why it may have been known as a “flesh eating” infection is because the said infection produces toxins that destroys the tissues that it affects, making it look like flesh is slowly being eaten away. This very serious infection can affect the arms, legs as well as the abdominal wall and is also fatal in 30 to 40 percent of the cases.

What Causes It?

Flesh eating disease is caused primarily by one or more bacteria. But the most common infections are caused by Streptococcus pyogenes, a part of the group A streptococci which is commonly responsible for mild cases of sore throat and skin infections. There are also other cases where a combination of different bacterial infections will lead to necrotizing fasciitis. Risk factors include having a weak immune system or other chronic health problems such as diabetes, liver and kidney disease.

Common Symptoms

Primary symptoms of necrotizing fasciitis include swelling, redness and pain in the infected area, sometimes also accompanied by blisters. Some cases may see patients exhibiting fever, vomiting, nausea and other flulike symptoms. Another common characteristic of the condition is that these symptoms appear quite rapidly after the onset of bacterial infection, usually within 24 hours. Patients may also report of extreme pain that is more severe than what the appearance of the wound may suggest. Later symptoms include scaling, discoloration and peeling of the skin that also leads to gangrene and even death.

Necrotizing Fasciitis Treatment

The primary treatment used for necrotizing fasciitis is antibiotics. Early treatment is critical to the survival of the patient. Hospitalization is usually required where surgery to remove infected tissue and fluids is necessary. Medications to treat shock and other potential complications may also be required.

 

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