Necrotizing Fasciitis Awareness Day Date in the current year: May 31, 2022

Necrotizing Fasciitis Awareness Day Necrotizing Fasciitis Awareness Day, sometimes referred to as National Necrotizing Fasciitis Awareness Day, is observed annually on May 31. It was created to raise awareness of a rare skin infection that can develop very quickly and cause great harm if not treated immediately and properly.

Necrotizing fasciitis, also known as flesh-eating bacteria syndrome or flesh-eating disease, is a severe bacterial infection that has a sudden onset and spreads rapidly, resulting in the death of soft tissue affected by the infectious process. It can be caused by multiple types of bacteria; in most cases, there are several types of bacteria involved. About one third of all cases involve methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus.

Most necrotizing fasciitis patients have at least one of the following risk factors: immunodeficiency (for example, from diabetes, cancer, HIV/AIDS, prior bone marrow or organ transplantation), alcoholism, intravenous drug use, obesity, or peripheral artery disease. However, approximately 30% cases of necrotizing fasciitis occur in seemingly otherwise healthy individuals.

Bacteria that cause necrotizing fasciitis typically enter the body through a break in the skin such as a cut, burn, insect bite, injection, catheter insertion. Although the disease can affect any part of the body, it most commonly affects the limbs, perineum, and genitals.

The typical symptoms of necrotizing fasciitis are redness, swelling, severe pain, fever and chills, nausea and vomiting. The early symptoms of the condition are similar to a simple superficial skin infection (cellulitis) or abscess, making it hard to diagnose at early stages. Necrotizing fasciitis is typically treated by surgical removal of affected tissue to keep infection from spreading and intravenous antibiotic therapy.

Necrotizing fasciitis is a rare disease; it affects about 0.4 to 1 in every 100,000 people, depending on the part of the world. About 25 to 35% of all cases result in organ failure and death, typically because the disease rapidly progresses to shock even despite timely surgery and antibiotics.

Since the disease is so sudden and deadly, it is important to know how to prevent it. Necrotizing fasciitis can be prevented by hand washing, proper wound care, paying attention even to seemingly insignificant skin injuries if you’re in the risk group, and avoiding physical contact with people infected with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus.

Necrotizing Fasciitis Awareness Day was launched by the Necrotizing Fasciitis Foundation (NFF) in 2017. NFF was established the year before by Tim Hayden, a necrotizing fasciitis survivor since 2006. The newly created awareness day was immediately recognized by Governor of Michigan Rick Snyder, and many other U. S. states have followed suit since then.

On the occasion of Necrotizing Fasciitis Awareness Day, NFF hosts its annual NFF Walk for Awareness. Anyone can participate in the walk to spread awareness about necrotizing fasciitis and raise funds to help people affected by the disease.

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