Florida’s flesh-eating fiasco

A serious bacterial infection floating around in the Tampa Bay.

Jacob Costantino, Staff Reporter

Bacterial infections are festering in the bay, but there’s a twist in this bacteria, it eats away at flesh. This infection can be life threatening when not dealt with immediately. The infection is contracted from large bodies of water, anywhere between pools and bathtubs to lakes and oceans.

This bacterial infection can damage the skin and muscles in the body, as it eats away at muscle, fat, and skin. Because of what the infection affects, this infection can be extremely fatal to the body. With that being said, according to Medicine Net, “The early stage of necrotizing fasciitis is characterized by symptoms of redness, swelling, and pain in the affected area. Blisters may be seen in the involved area of skin. Fever, nausea, vomiting, and other flu-like symptoms are common.”

In later stages of the infection, will be be changes in color of the skin, black scabbing, along with low blood pressure, and even septic shock. The infection can also travel to the bloodstream during early stages, especially if the infection began in facial planes.

Mortality rates for this infection can go from 10-20% fatality to 70% fatality. This is because of one factor, if the infection spreads into the bloodstream, it can cause more damage to not only the place infected, but also major organs and other places in the skin.

Symptoms are something to worry about, however it is best to worry about stopping the infection before it starts.

First and foremost, DO NOT get into a body of water if you have, or suspect you have, open wounds on your body. This is because, the skin acts as a barrier, if that barrier is open, then it’s easier to get an infection anywhere, not just in water, but in the air as well.
Florida’s flesh-eating fiasco
Even if you don’t have open wounds, but scabbing instead, it is best to stay away from bodies of water that have no known filter, as liquids make scabs soft and easy to be pulled off.

The treatments for necrotizing fasciitis include a series of treatments, starting with intravenous (IV) antibiotics therapy, surgical removal of dead tissue, amputations in severe cases, hyperbaric oxygen therapy to help keep healthy tissue healthy, cardiac monitoring and breathing aid, blood transfusions, and IV for helping body to fight the infection.