Necrotizing Fasciitis

Necrotizing Fasciitis is also known as the
flesh-eating disease. It is a rare disease that causes
the deterioration of the flesh, causing extensive
destruction of the tissues. It can kill. The disease is
very uncommon and only infects about one in a
million people each year in Canada. There is some
concern and suggestions that cases of this disease
may be on the increase. Most of these serious
infections occur between the months of October
and March. The good news is that fifty to seventy
percent of people who get this disease recover.
When people get this illness, the symptoms are
fever, severe pain, and a red, painful swelling
which spreads rapidly. The disease spreads very
rapidly through flesh at a rate of one inch or almost
three centimetres per hour. Death can occur in just
18 hours. The layers of tissue that surround the
muscle are called fascia. When the disease
spreads along the layers of tissue that surround
muscle, it is called Necrotizing Fasciitis. Once the
disease spreads into the muscle tissue, it is called
Necrotizing Myositis. Background The first record
of the disease was in France in 1783. The disease
occurred throughout the 1800\'s and 1900\'s, but
was usually only found in military hospitals in times
of war. Some outbreaks have occurred also in
civilian populations. There seemed to be some
decrease in the 1940\'s, and then another outbreak
in the 1980\'s. Ontario is the only province in
Canada where there is statistics on serious group a
streptococcal infections (including necrotizing
fasciitis). These cases are reported to health
authorities. Surveillance for group A streptococcus
began in 1991 in Canada. In Ontario, in 1994, 19
cases of serious disease were reported to health
authorities. Of those 19, six died. There were only
9 cases in 1993, and 27 cases in 1992, and 25
cases in 1991. Cause Flesh eating disease is
caused by several bacteria, one of them is group
A streptococcus. A bacteria that causes sore
throats and strep throats in kids, as well as in
teenagers, is group A streptococcus. This is the
same bacteria that causes impetigo, rheumatic
fever and scarlet fever. Group A streptococcus
also causes a general bad feeling. Ten to fifteen
per cent of school children could carry the
bacteria in their throat and have no symptoms.
Group A Streptococcus can be spread by close
personal contact, such as kissing or sharing drinks
or cutlery, with an infected person, but flesh eating
disease can not be. Symptoms Symptoms include
fever, severe pain and a red, painful swelling.
Some side effects can result from group A
streptococcus. Serious life- threatening diseases,
such as streptococcal toxic-shock syndrome can
occur. When serious disease develops, the sore
throat is usually not present. Treatment Treatment
includes the surgical removal of infected tissue or
amputation if necessary. Also, if one is lucky,
giving drugs like penicillin, will work. There are no
vaccines available to prevent group A
streptococcus. Health Canada and other
researchers are working to develop new strategies
and treatments to combat disease outbreaks when
they occur. Some scientists believe that the
bacteria makes proteins that causes the body\'s
immune system to destroy both the bacteria and
the body, in addition to proteins that destroy tissue
directly. Flesh-eating disease Matt Sanderson
May 27,1995 Bibliography 1. Bureau of
Communicable Disease Epidemiology, Laboratory
Center for Disease Control, Health Protection
Branch, Health Canada, "Necrotizing Fasciitis". 2.
Public Health Region, Rosetown , Saskatchewan,
"Flesh-eating disease".

Category: Science