Tuesday, February 10, 2009

More Monsters

Today we talked about viruses. I don't have much to say on it, but that's entirely because I just ate and has nothing to do with lack of interesting content.

Here, I'll give you a photo to wet your appetite for this class. But BE WARNED! It's disgusting! I'm going to give you lots of space to decide of it's worth it.

Some info before we start. Nosocomial infections are infections caused by BEING IN THE HOSPITAL. 10% of hospital patients catch NIs; 14% of the patients die. They cause about 20,000 deaths per year, and that statistic is increasing.

Most sites of these infections are either in the bloodstream or from surgery.

The following is straight from the notes, and what you will be seeing a photo of.

Also I hope I'm building the hype over this so much that you won't be affected at all.

FLESH EATING BACTERIA (necrotizing fasciitis, NF) is usually caused by the Streptococcus bacteria that causes strep throat. The bacteria does not actually eat flesh but it produces toxins that dissolve flesh, especially the fat layer beneath the skin. Strep bacteria are common and it is not clear why some people develop NF. It usually occurs after surgery, or a minor injury or even a bump that leaves no mark. The bacteria travels under the skin and is not observable and is therefore hard to diagnose. It also travels extremely rapidly, several cms per hour, so a misdiagnosis can be a death sentence. Fortunately this is a rare affliction, but it seems to be becoming more common. Death occurs in about 25% of cases. The only treatments are massive does of antibiotics and immediate surgical removal of infected tissue.

Last year a little boy in Bellingham developed NF after he got a cut on his lip while playing basketball. He lost most of the tissue on his face, but he's young, so maybe it will regrow.

Okay, no more teasing. Here's the photo of a FLESH EATING BACTERIA.

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