Necrotizing Fasciitis

This disease affects the immune system

Definition

Necrotizing Fasciitis is a disease that attacks the immune system. It is a severe bacterial infection that spreads within hours that destroys our bodies soft tissues, such as skin and muscle.

Body system

Necrotizing Fasciitis attacks the immune system, nervous, integumentary, lymphatic system. It spreads along the fascia, the tissue that covers the muscles. Nervous system is the network of cells that transmits nerve pulses to different parts of the body. Integumentary system is the organ system, it protects the body from damage such as loss of water. The lymphatic system is the network of vessels through which lymph drains from the tissues to the blood.

Immune System

Our immune system attacks the bacteria that invades our body that can cause a disease. This disease makes the molecule that controls the white blood cells ability to fight bacteria stop working so the white blood cells start getting slower and weaker until the stop working.

Who is affected

Anyone can get this disease. Any age, male or female, and any ethnicity. But elders have a higher risk because they have a weaker immune system. Also higher risk if you have diabetes. It mostly depends on your overall health.
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How do you get it/ Where does it live

This disease lives in water. You may get it if you have a open wound and you go swimming. It enters your body through wound.

What will a doctor do to see if you have this disease

The doctor might do a CT scan or skin biopsy or a blood test.

Signs and Symptoms

Some of the symptoms are:
  • feel sick
  • the flu
  • dizziness/weakness
  • shock.
Other signs are:
  • small red painful bumps on the skin
  • changes to a very painful bruise and grows rapidly
  • the center of the bruise will turn black and die and it may break and ooze fluid.

Treatment

They will...

  • give you antibiotics
  • surgery to remove the dead skin and tissue
  • amputation, if spreads along arm and leg
  • Special medicines called donor immunoglobulins (antibodies) to help fight the infection in some cases. Antibody is a protein used by the immune system to identify foreign bacteria and viruses.

Mortality Rate

If not treated right away the toxins the bacteria releases will seep in and cause septic and you could die within 24 hours. Roughly 30% of patients die, Information updated in 2014.

Connections

I do not know anyone personally with this disease. It is very rare and I do not think any celebrities have it. But I heard about a girl on the news who got it, Aimee Copeland. In 2012 Aimee went zip lining with her friend and she fell off of the zip line and gashed her leg open. She was okay and did not think much about it until she found out it was infected. Rapidly, it spread through out her body a doctors had to amputate her left leg at the hip, her right foot, and both her hands. At the time she was 24, she is still alive with prostheses.
Ask UNMC: Necrotizing Fasciitis