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I am a survivor of necrotizing fasciitis. What are my chances of being infected again?

Necrotizing fasciitis is a rapidly spreading anaerobic bacterial infection involving deep fascial planes and resulting in rapid irreversible necrosis of tissues. Necrotizing fasciitis is suspected with a physical exam producing a crepitous sensation of the affected tissue (secondary to air pockets produced by the bacteria) and a radiographic evidence of air within the subcutaneous tissue.

Necrotizing fasciitis is often caused by procedures that introduce bacteria from the skin into the subcutaneous tissue. Typically, this includes breaks in the skin, injuries, insect bites, surgeries, injections, etc. Diabetic patients and immunodeficient patients (HIV, cancer, etc.) are especially at risk because of a weakened immune system.

As a survivor of necrotizing fasciitis, your risk of developing a re-infection is no greater than someone with your same risk factors who hasn’t been previously infected. Prevention of necrotizing fasciitis includes standard infection-prevention techniques such as proper sanitation, checking extremities for wounds (especially important for diabetics), proper glucose control, and avoid handling/eating undercooked or contaminated seafood or working with seawater/aquariums as it may contain the bacteria Vibrio vulnificus – a bacteria associated with necrotizing fasciitis.