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Flesh Eating Bacteria News: Two Victims Confirmed In Australia; How Deadly Is Necrotizing Fasciitis?

Update Date: Jan 18, 2017 08:00 AM EST
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Two victims were hospitalized after a flesh eating bacteria stripped off their skin. The two patients, male and female, were unrelated and got their condition in Polynesia.

The 57-year-old male patient's skin was stripped from lower back down to his feet by the flesh eating bacteria according to Sky News. The female patient, 46-years-old, is affected from the knees down. Both are residents of Mt Druitt.

Tony Bartone, vice president of the Australian Medical Association, said that flesh eating bacteria or vibrio vulnificus found in necrotizing fasciitis is uncommon in the country. There are only 400 cases reported each year, and victims are "usually people who have pre-disposing immune system problems, or diabetes, or some other condition that puts them at exposure or at risk of developing the condition."

According to the spokeswoman of Western Sydney Local Health District (WSLHD), the two victims are already in a stable condition. However, if their situation worsens, they will be transferred to Westmead Hospital in Parramatta. She added that there is no risk to public health.

In October last year, a man from Arizona died due to flesh eating bacteria. Michael Funk got sick after cleaning crab pots. A surgeon removed the infected skin from his leg but was later amputated. After four days, Funk died.

Flesh eating bacteria are commonly found in warm, brackish waters with low salinity. It can also be acquired by eating raw or undercooked seafood. A break in the skin, like a cut, scrape, burn, bite or puncture wound, can also be a portal of entry for vibrio vulnificus.

Necrotizing fasciitis is a rare but serious infection, with one out of four people dying from it. The bacteria can be passed to another human through close contact, such as directly touching the wound of a person infected by flesh eating bacteria.

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