Flesh eating disease is a very rare bacterial infection that destroys and causes death of body tissues. The other name for this disease are necrotizing fasciitis, Fournier’s gangrene, and suppurative fasciitis. The infection would be so deep that it attacks the skin, underlying muscles and tissue and it spreads rapidly causing death of tissues (necrosis). Any skin injury or wound can trigger this infection and different types of bacteria can cause flesh eating disease. This disease is very serious that it causes internal bleeding or sepsis and organ failure.
Suitable antibiotics are prescribed for destroying the bacteria and in some cases surgery is done for removing the wound. In severe cases the patient is given in-patient treatment with intravenous fluids and major drugs to restore the function of organs. This disease attacks the fascial planes or connective tissue that encloses many nerves, muscles and blood vessels. It can attack any part of the body and the infection spreads so rapidly that it would become difficult to stop the infection with drugs or surgery.
Streptococcus pyogenes is the major bacterium causing flesh eating disease but sometimes other types are also involved. The bacterium would enter the body through small cuts or wounds on the skin. It would grow and multiply and subsequently produce toxins that would completely destroy the underlying tissues and blood vessels. Once the blood vessel ruptures it would gain entry into the bloodstream spreading to distant organs of the body.
It would cause red sores or lesions on the affected skin suddenly. Very shortly it would cause intense pain on the area with bruise like wound. The center portion of the affected skin would become dark black indicating death of tissues. For some people the skin would rupture and the lesions would ooze pus like fluids. In addition to the above symptoms, this disease would cause general ill feeling, fever, nausea, drowsiness and extreme tiredness.
A person who is already having an infection is more prone to develop flesh eating disease bacteria. The site of the skin where there is wound or injury would develop swelling and becomes sensitive to pain. The symptoms would grow rapidly as the bacteria multiplies and enters the blood destroying other organs. Internal bleeding can occur when the bacteria has caused death of tissues and blood vessels.
Risk Factors :
Any individual with a wound or skin cut or injury can get this infection from flesh eating bacteria. The risk is higher if he/she is having a weak immune system. Infants, elderly people, diabetic patients and people with liver problems are at high risk of developing this disease.
People undergoing chemotherapy or taking drugs for suppressing the immunity have increased risk. Individuals with deep infection in the muscles or bones or joints are at high risk. Certain types of bacterial infection are high on people who consume contaminated water or seafood.
An expert doctor can diagnose the special bacterial infection on mere examination of the skin or injury site. He would request for additional tests like blood profile, imaging tests like X-ray or CT scan and also a skin biopsy.
Treatment depends on the condition of the affected patient. Immediate hospitalization and emergency medical care is required if the patient become unstable due to widespread infection. Antibiotic drugs of high strength are given through veins. Surgery is done after the patient becomes stable and dead tissues and muscles are removed from the site. Specific part of the body that is affected deeply is mostly amputated if there is sepsis and tissue death.
Antibodies are triggered by prescribing the special drugs thereby boosting the immune system to fight infection from bacteria. The patient will be treated in intensive care unit to prevent multiple organ failure and to stop cardiac arrest if the blood is contaminated with bacteria. Recovery and survival rate depends on how far infection has progressed and what type of bacteria has caused this disease. If the patient recovers after surgery, skin grafting is done for repairing the damaged skin of the infected area.
Images, Pics, Photos and Pictures of Flesh Eating Disease :
Outcome of the Disease :
Flesh eating disease can cause death if treatment is delayed or not treated rapidly. But there is chances of survival if the infection has not become widespread and early diagnosis is made.
Flesh eating disease can be prevented if you take immediate treatment if you have a cut or injured skin or open wound. You can follow good hygiene at home and workplace to prevent any infection. Avoid taking seafood if you have liver disease. If you have recently undergone surgery, follow the instructions of your GP or surgeon to take prescribed medications and follow-ups.