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Necrotizing fasciitis Necrotizing fasciitis is more commonly known as flesh-eating disease It is a rare illness that causes extensive tissue destruction and can lead to death In Canada there are 90-200 cases of necrotizing fasciitis each year Some of the Symptoms that can be noticeable or just from the inside of necrotizing fasciitis include fever severe pain and a red painful swelling which spreads rapidly Death can occur in 12 to 24 hours When the disease spreads along the layers of tissue that surround muscle the fascia it is called necrotizing fasciitis When the disease spreads into the muscle tissue it is called necrotizing myositis Necrotizing fasciitis can be caused by a number of different bacteria one of them being the group A streptococcus This is a common bacteria which causes infections such as sore or strep throat in children and young adults Ten to 15 per cent of school age children may carry group A streptococcus in their throat and have no symptoms It is normally spread through close personal contact with an infected person for example through kissing or sharing cutlery This same bacteria also causes scarlet fever impetigo and rheumatic fever Sometimes group A streptococcus causes serious diseases such as pneumonia streptococcal toxic-shock syndrome and necrotizing fasciitis and myositis In instances where serious disease develops the presence of sore throat is very unusual While group A streptococcus is passed from person to person necrotizing fasciitis is not The disease was first discovered in 1783 in France Doctors noted that it occurred sporadically throughout the 19th and 20th centuries The disease was usually restricted to military hospitals especially in war times However there have been some outbreaks in civilian populations The disease appeared to markedly decrease in frequency during the 1940s and reemerged worldwide in the 1980s In October 1998 serious streptococcal infections such as necrotizing fasciitis were reportable to public health officials in Newfoundland Prince Edward Island Quebec
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