Necrotizing Fasciitis, this is the kind of bacteria you read about in sci-fi books and horror stories. Its been named “the flesh eating bacteria” by the media. It is as bad as it sounds. It can cause such damage to the body that amputation is necessary or it can kill a person. This report will examine a few main areas of interest about this horrid, pestilence called Necrotizing Fasciitis. Such areas will include some background of it, misdiagnosis of this bacterium, any cures for it, , spreading of it, and risk groups.

Necrotizing Fasciitis is part of what is know as group A Streptococcus. Group A Streptococcus (abbreviated as GAS) is a bacterium commonly found in the throat and on the skin. The letter A refers to the classification of bacteria in the genus Streptococcus according to the composition of the cell wall of the organism. Group A streptococci can be present in the throat or on the skin and cause nothing at all, but may also cause serous infections and even life threatening. Most of GAS infections are mild , such as "strep throat" or impetigo. Sometimes these bacteria can reach areas such as the blood, deep muscle and fat tissue, or the lungs, and can cause major problems. One of the most severe GAS diseases is Necrotizing Fasciitis. Necrotizing Fasciitis (described by the media as "the flesh-eating bacteria") is a destructive infection of muscle and fat tissue.

Group A streptococcal infections occur when the bacteria get past the defenses of the person who is infected. This includes cuts and other abrasions to the skin, which would let the bacteria, enter the body easily. Any and all health concerns that in any way prevent or disable the bodies ability to fight off infection heighten the chances of a sever case of. Also some certain strains of group A streptococci are more likely to cause severe disease than others are.

Group A streptococcal infections develops when bacteria enter the body, usually through a minor skin injury or abrasion. The bacteria begin to grow and release toxins that:
 directly kill tissue
 interfere with the blood flow to the tissue
 digest materials in the tissue which then allows the bacteria to spread rapidly
 cause widespread systemic effects such as shock
Infection may begin as a small reddish painful spot or bump on the skin. This quickly changes to a painful bronzed or purplish patch that expands rapidly. The center may become black and dead (necrotic). The skin may break open. Visible expansion of the infection may occur in less than an hour.

Approximately 10,000 to 15,000 cases of GAS disease occur in the United States each year, resulting in over 2,000 deaths. Center for Diseases Control estimates that 500 to 1,500 cases of Necrotizing Fasciitis occur each year in the United States. 20% of patients with Necrotizing Fasciitis

In a recent study of misdiagnosis of 19 patients with Necrotizing Fasciitis, the wrong diagnoses were made in 17 (90%). Symptoms that were found and were misdiagnosed included: swelling (84%), pain (79%), erythema (74%), draining wounds (32%), bullae (16%), and metal status changes (16%). Diseases some of the patients had were: diabetes (32%), obesity (26%), alcoholism (21%) and hypertension (16%). Multiple organisms grew in 63%. Treatment included debridement, fluids and intravenous antibiotics. Two patients died (11%) and four required limb amputation (21%). The study then found in its report that “This morbidity emphasizes the need for a high index of suspicion in cellulitis that responds poorly to medical treatment, or when skin lesions or metal status changes are concomitantly present.”

Now it is time to take a look at the contiguousness of this wicked bacterium. Group A streptococci are spread by direct contact with secretions from the nose and throat of infected persons or by contact with infected wounds or sores on the skin. The risk of spreading is highest when a person is sick, such as with "strep throat" or an infected wound. People who have the bacteria but do not show any symptoms are far less contagious. Household items like plates, cups, or toys probably do not play a major role in disease transmission
One good thing to keep in mind is that the contact required to pass this is not normal contact. In fact, there have been no reports of casual contacts,