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Conditions

Flesh Eating Bug

Image: Cases Journal 2008 1:125

Necrotising fasciitis is a flesh eating bug, of which several hundred cases are reported in the UK each year. You’re far more likely to contract it in a tropical country, so stay savvy to the symptoms if you’re off to an exotic destination on holiday.

Most often the disease occurs in the legs, although it can affect any area of the body.

The bacteria enter through broken skin, so it can start with skin trauma as minor as a mosquito bite or small graze. The bacteria quickly eat away at soft tissue under the skin before spreading to surrounding tissues. The bacteria can devour flesh with alarming rapidity. Critical symptoms appear within 24 hours, starting with pain that is disproportionate to the injury, fever and dizziness. Usually after three days, purple rashes appear with large, dark marks and blisters filled with a blackish liquid. After four to five days, the body goes into shock and drops into unconsciousness. It is vital to see a health professional as soon as possible, who will treat the infection with antibiotics and by surgically removing the dead tissue. Don’t let this bug get under your skin; keep cuts and grazes clean, and maintain good hygiene.

What the Men in White Coats Say

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My auntie died 2 weeks ago from this after she cut herself shaving her legs.. She was only 51 and as fit as a fiddle. They operated 5 times on her leg but it got worse and her organs failed and so they turned the life support off. So so sad... Sleep peacefully auntie tracey I love you beyond words xxx





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I'm really sorry to hear about your Aunt. I can re-assure you that when I was at my most unwell with NF; I got to a peaceful level beyond suffering and was quite happy & at peace with the world - this was prior to any form of analgesia. I don't know why/how I managed to survive: my life has altered significantly since then; however each & every day is significant. I gave samples of my affected tissue to help research this disease & have also 'Guinea pigged' new forms of artificial derma to advance the reconstruction phase for those who manage to survive this disease. My thoughts are with you - each time you talk of your loved one, she'll never be forgotten.

I am just coming through the other side of NF. After 4 months of recovery I am finally seeing light at the end of the tunnel. I contracted NF in my abdomen and have endured 2 operations in succession of each other to debrade the infected flesh. They had to go right down to my small bowel. I was seriously ill and ended up fighting for my life following a miss diagnosis of constipation 2 days before going in to hospital to be admitted into HDU and spending 4 weeks in hospital. This was 4 months ago and I during that time I haven't had a period. Is this usual anyone? I am usually regular as clock work. Well done to all who have survived this terrible illness, my condolences to all who have lost some one & keep fight those who are still suffering.





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My brother is currently in hospital after having emergency surgery last night for NF. It does indeed spread very quickly. He is to go down to theatre again tomorrow, to see if it has spread further.He had to have a large area of his leg operated on, including some muscle. A plastic surgeon is also coming tomorrow. It is an awful disease and as other posts have stated anyone can contract it it is life threatening.





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Hope that the outcome has been +tive for you all . I know that the climb out is when he'll need your support the most. 10+ years on & I'm still suffering. Thinking of you all.

my step mum died of this 2 1/2 months ago she was in icu for 2 1/2 days and had about three operations. e just wish we had know sooner. R.I.P micheala love you and miss you everyday

I contracted NF in Nov '03, it was atypical as it affected both my left arm & left foot - and there was no break in the skin cover such as an open wound. Since then I have undergone extensive cosmetic reconstruction, and still am plagued by residual neuropathic pain nearly 10 years later..... PLEASE - if you have any flu like symptoms & odd/irrugular shaped bruises, make sure you get them checked out; as you're life may depend on it!





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If you’re worried why not contact the show and have a proper consultation with one of our Dr’s? You can apply via the link on our home page.

What prevents mosquitos? I am from australia and get absolutely eaten I just want a full proof repellant that works





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i have a lump just above my c section scar on left side have had it for about a year now and is very painful when im on my period or if i cough i have been back and forwards with drs and hospital and have had a two cans one being mri scan but they said there is to much swelling so cant see whats going on





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I passed a 1 inch chunk of white and pink colored tissue today along with a bowel movement. First time this has happened to me. I am 63 yr old male,married with grown children. My wife and I live with our 3 cats and are both retired.Did not want to rush out a create a big scene. just wanted to figure out what to do and what not to do. Thanks for any guidance you can share so I don't become a laughing stock on this journey.





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I had necrotising fascititis at the end of 2010 a large area of my leg was affected & neeeded debridment several times. Because I had a type of cancer 5 years ago I have no Lymph glands in that leg. My disease was caused by a common bacteria but it is not common in this disease. Seven lots of infection have occurred in this leg since but now I am making a good recovery





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I agree completely with Julia. My partner almost died from Necrotising Fashiitis (NF) in May last year. This deadly bug can get in through any break in the skin. Many cases reported contracted NF after surgery for something else or just as many got it from a simple cut. My partner could not even be this specific and has no idea how he became infected and the doctors say it's unlikely he'll ever know. After 10 operations and weeks in intensive care he's now on the road to recovery. I sincerely wish you all the best with your recovery Julia.





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my daughter was watching this on the tv this week, she called me and this started a huge discution that moved on to be very heated. I had Necrotising fasciitis, septic shock and of course ended up in coma fighting for my life, but I feel it wasnt explained properly, this bug lives on everyone, some of us are just unlucky.





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It looks like no one else has asked this question, so please fill in the rest of your details below.





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