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What are some examples of flesh-eating diseases?

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Examples of bacteria that cause necrotizing fasciitis, a condition in which a rapidly spreading infection decays soft tissue, include A Streptococcus, E. coli, Clostridium and Staphylococcus aureus, notes the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Most cases of necrotizing fasciitis result from an A Streptococcus infection.

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Most of the time, A Streptococcus infections are mild and simple to treat, according to the CDC. Occasionally, however, the toxins secreted by the bacteria cause the infected tissue to die, and prompt treatment with antibiotics and potentially surgery is necessary to keep the infection from continuing to spread.

Patients must receive the antibiotics for necrotizing fasciitis through a needle inserted into a vein, explains the CDC. If the bacteria has reduced blood flow to the point that the antibiotics cannot reach all areas of decaying flesh, a surgeon may need to cut away dead tissue before further spreading occurs.

It can be difficult to identify the symptoms of necrotizing fasciitis at first because they mimic other illnesses and injuries early on, states the CDC. Pain and soreness in the area are common a few hours following the injury. The area may be warm to the touch and may swell and become red or purplish. Later, fever, vomiting, fatigue or chills may occur.

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