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How do you get infected by flesh-eating bacteria?

ANSWER

The bacteria that cause necrotizing fasciitis can get into your body after surgery or an injury or through:

Sometimes, doctors don't know how the infection starts. Once it takes hold though, it rapidly destroys muscle, skin, and fat tissue.

  • Minor cuts
  • Insect bites
  • Scrapes

SOURCES:

Medscape: "Necrotizing Fasciitis Clinical Presentation," "Emergent Management of Necrotizing Fasciitis."

Merck Manuals: "Necrotizing Skin Infections."

CDC: "Group A Streptococcal (GAS) Disease."

National Necrotizing Fasciitis Foundation: "Necrotizing Fasciitis Factsheet."

American College of Chest Physicians: "Necrotizing Fasciitis and Deep Soft Tissue Infections in the ICU."

Reviewed by Carol DerSarkissian on July 30, 2018

WAS THIS ANSWER HELPFUL

SOURCES:

Medscape: "Necrotizing Fasciitis Clinical Presentation," "Emergent Management of Necrotizing Fasciitis."

Merck Manuals: "Necrotizing Skin Infections."

CDC: "Group A Streptococcal (GAS) Disease."

National Necrotizing Fasciitis Foundation: "Necrotizing Fasciitis Factsheet."

American College of Chest Physicians: "Necrotizing Fasciitis and Deep Soft Tissue Infections in the ICU."

Reviewed by Carol DerSarkissian on July 30, 2018

THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

    This tool does not provide medical advice. See additional information.

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