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dano7744 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think you are asking about necrotizing fasciitis, the so-called "flesh eating" bacteria. Several bacteria can cause this disease but most commonly it is due to a streptococcal infection called Group A Streptococci. Necrotizing fasciitis rapidly destroys tissue (all tissue) that the pathogenic microorganism comes into contact with. It is highly infectious and contagious with a grave prognosis. Approximately 40% of people infected with necrotizing fasciitis will die from septic shock. A complicating problem with this infection is that initial signs and symptoms may go unnoticed thus delaying treatment.

These patients must be isolated and strict isolation precautions must be adhered to. Staff members coming into contact with the patient are at risk for contracting the pathogen and must pay particular attention to barrier defenses and aseptic practices. Visitors may be prohibited from seeing the patient.

Treatment is aggressive surgical debridement (repeated trips to the O.R.) of tissues and broad spectrum intravenous antibiotic therapy. Amputations of limbs are very common and necessary to try to save the patients life.

Microbiology/Tortora/p. 591

besure77 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I believe the type of fasciitis that you are looking for is necrotizing fasciitis and it is caused by bacteria. There are many different kinds of bacteria that can be the cause of necrotizing fasciitis, such as strep. It can be very harmful, even fatal. It is estimated that 25% of people who have necrotizing fasciitis die from it, although it is very rare. It is usually contracted through an open wound, especially if the wound has come into contact with ocean water or raw saltwater fish. It can also occur after surgery.

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