Necrotizing Fasciitis

With this disease, time is serious - Russell Russo MD, orthopedist

Necrotizing Fasciitis

image by: Overcoming Necrotizing Fasciitis; The Flesh-Eating Bacteria

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What To Do If You Are Worried About Flesh-Eating Bacteria

General rule: Anything with "flesh-eating" in its name can be horrific. As the recent unexpected and rapid death of an 8-year-old boy in Oregon demonstrated, flesh-eating disease, otherwise known as necrotizing fasciitis, can quickly maim or even kill even the healthiest of people.

Necrotizing fasciitis means literally being eaten alive by bacteria. If that sounds horrible, it is. As Jason Duaine Hahn described for People, before he succumbed to the flesh-eating disease, Liam Flanagan was a healthy second grader in Pilot Rock, Oregon. After he wiped out on his bike and suffered a gash in his thigh, the doctors in the emergency room were able to close the wound with just seven…

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  What To Do If You Are Worried About Flesh-Eating Bacteria

Unfortunately, with even the best treatment available, sometimes doctors cannot stop the disease. Fortunately, necrotizing fasciitis is rare. So don't freak out and chug antibiotics the next time you get a scratch or a cut.

4 Diseases Scarier than Flesh-Eating Necrotizing Fasciitis

In case necrotizing fasciitis – the flesh-eating disease recently making headlines – hasn't got you freaked out enough, here are four other scary diseases you might not know about.

3 Smart Things About Flesh-Eating Bacteria

The bacteria aren't actually eating your flesh. The various species—including some that cause strep and staph—enter a wound, scrape, or bug bite and unleash a flood of toxic chemicals that kill surrounding tissue cells.

Lee Spark NF Foundation

The mission of The Lee Spark Necrotising Fasciitis (NF) Foundation is to help those whose lives have been affected by necrotising fasciitis and other severe streptococcal infections and medical staff who are involved with investigating, diagnosing and treating NF.

Aimee Copeland Foundation

Led by Aimee Copeland, a licensed master social worker with a background in eco-psychology, a quadruple amputee and a necrotizing fasciitis survivor, ACF inspires hope through action, builds community through inclusivity, provides healing through relationships, fights stigma through education, and breaks down barriers through compassion and humor.

Necrotizing Fasciitis Foundation

The Necrotizing Fasciitis Foundation was created by survivors as a way to provide support and resources for NF victims and their families, and to raise awareness by educating the general public and the medical community.

Overcoming Necrotizing Fasciitis

On May 9, 1998, while playing indoor soccer, I was kicked in the ankle and that injury set off a chain of events that resulted in necrotizing fasciitis and forever changed our lives.


Necrotizing fasciitis is a serious bacterial infection that spreads rapidly and destroys the body's soft tissue. Commonly called a "flesh-eating infection" by the media, this very rare disease can be caused by more than one type of bacteria. These include group A Streptococcus (group A strep), Klebsiella, Clostridium, E. coli, Staphylococcus aureus, and Aeromonas hydrophila, among others. Group A strep is considered the most common cause of necrotizing fasciitis.


Although necrotizing fasciitis may be caused by an infection with one or more than one bacterium, in most cases the term flesh-eating bacteria has been applied to describe infections caused by the bacterium known as Streptococcus pyogenes. The term flesh-eating has been used because the bacterial infection produces toxins that destroy tissues such as muscles, skin, and fat.

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