I know that all the rage these days is talking about an impending zombie apocalypse and that is what you may first think of when you hear about the flesh-eating disease but since there really is no such thing as zombies let’s talk about how you can protect yourself from the flesh-eating disease called Necrotizing Fasciitis.
The best way to protect yourself from the flesh-eating disease is to keep your hands clean. Wash them in warm water and soap for at least 15-20 seconds when they are visibly soiled and use hand sanitizer to kill the germs you can’t see for other times.
If you cut yourself or get a burn while you are in the kitchen, no matter how small and insignificant it may seem at the time, always clean the area very well and keep it covered. Feel free to use a triple antibiotic ointment and change the bandage frequently or at least daily.
The bandage you use should also be kept dry so go buy yourself some vinyl or latex gloves at your local drug store to use to cover the affected area, if it is on your hands, that is.
Bacteria thrive in warm, moist places so if the bandage gets wet change it immediately.
If you are a relatively healthy individual you have a lower risk of acquiring this possibly deadly infection. Higher risk individuals are those with chronic conditions that deplete the immune system like diabetes, cancer, and lupus.
Alcoholics and drug abusers also have a higher risk of developing this type of infection.
These people should take special precautions from even getting injured because with an immune system that is not functioning like it should sores and burns will not heal quickly in the best of times.
If a day or two after an injury, you start to notice any of the following symptoms, you should see your doctor as soon as possible.
If you notice:
1. Increased redness, swelling and the area of injury is hot to the touch
2. Green drainage from the would
3. Increased or new, severe pain to the area
4. An area near the center of the original injury has turned black. This indicates that tissue death has begun.
Diagnosis is made by your doctor ordering a number of tests such as:
1. Lab culture of the wound
2. CT scan or MRI
3. Blood tests
4. Biopsy of the surrounding skin
Immediate treatment is essential to limiting the damage the toxins released by the bacteria can cause. If left untreated for even just a little while, sometimes only a few hours, extensive damage can occur and complications such as amputation or organ death can quickly follow.
Statistics show that if you do not learn how to protect yourself from the flesh-eating disease and you do acquire this deadly infection 1 in 4 will die from it.
All it takes is keeping your hands and any injury you get clean, covered and dry.