Flesh Eating Bacteria: it sounds like something out of a science fiction movie. Nevertheless, its name perfectly reflects what it does. Bacteria gets under the skin and releases a toxin, which infects the deep layer of tissue. It's not visible to the eyes.
Furthermore, the infection gets into the blood stream and can travel throughout the body, infecting tissue in areas not even close to the original point of infection.
It is frightening, to be sure. However, it is rare. Only about 13,000 Americans get it each year and only about 2,500 die from it.
That's not to minimize the precious souls who are stricken with it, but to put it into perspective. More people die from the flu each year.
Unfortunately, many different types of bacteria can lead to this condition. The bacteria often enter the body through an open wound. Therefore, take immediate action after a cut or scrape.
Wash the wound as soon as possible. Make sure to wash it well. That means use warm soapy water and lather-up for at least 20 seconds, then rinse thoroughly.
Next, put an antibiotic ointment, such as Polysporin, on the wound and cover it well.
Continue to keep the wound clean by washing it, using antibiotic ointment and changing the bandage frequently.
If within 24 hours of contracting the wound you experience excruciating pain, get to the doctor. One of the hallmarks of Flesh Eating Bacteria is the severe pain associated with it. Sometimes there will be visual cues such as a black color on or near the wound, or puss oozing out of it.
In addition to people with open wounds, Flesh Eating Bacteria infections also often strike people with MRSA, strep, diabetes, and people with compromised immune systems.
Many of the bacteria associated with Flesh Eating Bacteria do not respond to regular antibiotics and must be treated with intravenous antibiotics.
Try to protect yourself and your loved ones from flesh eating bacterial infections by practicing healthy living. Also seek immediate medical attention if you notice any of the symptoms. Keep in mind, although this is a frightening condition, it is also rare.