(commonly known as flesh-eating disease)
What causes Necrotizing fasciitis?
Necrotizing fasciitis, being a skin disease, always starts on the skin. Then it infects the skin. The way to get this flesh eating disease is to cross paths with "Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus" or MRSA.
How is Necrotizing fasciitis transmitted?
MRSA enjoys transmitting necrotizing fasciitis in many ways provided that you enjoy doing any of these things: eating undercooked contaminated meats, working at municipal waste water treatment plants, exposure to secondary waste water spray irrigation, consuming raw products produced from farm fields fertilized by human sewage sludge or septage, being in hospital settings from patients of weakened immune systems, or sharing/using dirty needles.
How contagious is necrotizing fasciitis?
Thankfully, necrotizing fasciitis is usually not contagious. However, it can still be transmitted via MRSA, through skin contact with someone with N.F. Be careful and wear 6 gloves when doing so.
How virulent is necrotizing fasciitis?
Necrotizing fasciitis is EXTREMELY virulent. It often quickly leads to life illness and death, with a mortality rate of 50%. If the necrotizing fasciitis doesn't kill you, something else probably will; N.F. almost always invites another disease or infection into your poor body.
Symptoms of necrotizing fasciitis
Patients initially have inflammation, fever, and tachycardia. The tissue becomes very much swollen, discolored, and gains a lot of blisters. Discharges of fluid and crepitus is not uncommon. Diarrhea and vomiting can also occur.
How is it diagnosed?
There is actually a special score designed to diagnose people with this flesh eating disease: The Laboratory Risk Indicator for Necrotizing Fasciitis (LRINEC)! It uses six serologic measures: C-Reactive protein, total white blood cell count, hemoglobin, sodium, creatinine and glucose. A score greater than 6 indicates that necrotizing fasciitis should be seriously considered.
A combination of intravaneous antibiotics should be started as soon as necrotizing fasciitis is suspected. Unfortunately, the only treatment for this horrid disease is aggressive removal of the skin. Sometimes, there is a need for amputation.
Success of Treatment
The success of the treatment all boils down to the area that is infected, and the way the treatment was made. If the infection was in a place that is sensitive to severe damage, such as the head, treatment involving removal of the skin does not often go too well. But let's say an arm, or leg, can withstand a giant chunk of skin getting cut out. Sort of. Or, the "safer" route, amputation, is a way to safely secure a triumph over necrotizing fasciitis; however, it will literally cost an arm or leg. Maybe both.