Necrotizing Fasciitis, commonly referred to as the "Flesh Eating Disease", is a deep-seated and dangerous infection that actually eats away at the muscle, fat and skin of its victims. Unfortunately, Necrotizing Fasciitis has been found to be fatal in approximately 30-60% of the cases studied.
Most commonly, Necrotizing Fasciitis develops after some type of puncture to the skin such as a cut, injection, surgical procedure or dog bite. The symptoms of Necrotizing Fasciitis usually begin within 24 - 48 hours after the initial rupture to the skin and commonly involve a high fever, pain, swelling as well as temperature and color changes to the injured area. If not caught and treated early, the Necrotizing Fasciitis will progress and start to eat away at the skin and underlying muscle tissue.
Some people may be more prone to the development of Necrotizing Fasciitis who have conditions such as diabetes, alcoholism or liver disease, to name a few. However, Necrotizing Fasciitis can be acquired in perfectly healthy individuals through something as simple as a muscle strain.
One recent case study involved a 42 year old man that developed a pectoral strain while unloading boxes from a truck during a work accident. Within 72 hours of suffering the muscle strain, the man was in the hospital fighting for his life and diagnosed with Necrotizing Fasciitis at the exact site of the muscle strain in the pectoral area. Another recent example involved a 49 year old woman who suffered a shoulder strain from a seat belt after being involved in an auto accident. Within 72 hours after the accident, the woman had full blown Necrotizing Fasciitis in the area of the shoulder where she had suffered the original muscle strain. Thankfully, both this man and woman survived the Necrotizing Fasciitis after receiving prompt and appropriate treatment.
Many people can survive Necrotizing Fasciitis if the symptoms are recognized early enough and proper treatment is rendered. Treatment consistently involves heavy doses of antibiotics to treat the infection, surgery and in some cases amputation to stop the spread of the disease and plastic surgery to repair the devastating damage to the skin resulting from the infection.