Open wounds vulnerable to rare flesh-eating bacteria -


Open wounds vulnerable to rare flesh-eating bacteria

Elizabeth Marler isn't phased by the scar on her left hand and arm, nor the fact that her hand is not fully functional.

"He had to cut that all out and that is why I have this big scar. But who cares? I've got my life," she says.

Marler contracted a very rare, but serious flesh-eating bacteria that destroys human tissue.

Necrotizing fasciitis can occur when bacteria enters a wound, such as an insect bite, a burn, or a cut. Marler was bitten by her cat, which caused the opening for the bacteria to enter.

"She came down and put her teeth into my hand, and I popped her and that's what opened the place," says Marler.

Her hand blew up and she was rushed into surgery four days later.

The risk of getting this infection is higher if you have a weak immune system, like Marler, who has a blood disorder called Milo fibrosis.

"I am just lucky that I have my hand and my arm, and I have read that one out of four people that get this necro fasciitis dies. It travels that fast," says Marler.

Early treatment of necrotizing fasciitis is critical. The sooner treatment begins, the more likely you will recover from the infection and avoid serious complications, such as limb amputation or death.

"I just want people to be more aware of bacteria and to know that this is out there," says Marler.

Copyright 2012 America Now. All rights reserved.

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