What turns a relatively minor skin injury into the life-threatening horror show? That would be necrotizing soft tissue infection, otherwise known as a flesh-eating bacterial infection. New research suggests that a lack of antibodies against Streptococcus bacteria is a likely risk factor.
With the word "cure" we think of it as an end. But, in fact, it's often the end – of a beginning. For those surgically “cured” from cancer, enduring amputation from sepsis or receiving a transplanted organ, the story — though different and uncharted — begins anew.
Necrotizing fasciitis, which literally translated means "inflammation of the fascia (connective tissue) causing cell death," is the medical term for what's known as "flesh-eating" disease. A recent case that made national headlines involved a man who died four days after becoming infected with the ocean-dwelling microbe Vibrio vulnificus.
The quick and frightening death of a man who contracted a kind of flesh-eating bacterium after cleaning crab pots has made national headlines. Understandably, the public wants to know what causes such a terrifying illness and what, if anything, can be done to prevent it. The media is not helping, but here's some insight.