MARIETTA, Ohio (WTAP) - Recent reports of flesh eating bacterial infections have come out of Florida and other common vacation destinations.
Val Betkoski, the director of nursing at the Washington County Health Department, says the infection is called necrotizing fasciitis. According to the Center for Disease Control, more than one type of bacteria can cause necrotizing fasciitis. However, the most common are group A strep.
According to Betkoski, almost 11,000 people a year in the United States get group A strep in one way or another, such as strep throat. However, the flesh eating bacterial infection is very serious and needs to be treated immediately. It lives in water and enters the body through breaks and bruises in the skin. To make sure you stay safe, Betkoski had some advice to keep you safe.
“I would say when they're done with a day on the beach or a day in the water they go directly to the showers with soap and water. And they inspect their skin. If they have a sore spot, if they have a red spot, they get it treated promptly,” said Betkoski.
Betkoski says the integrity of one's skin indicates their vulnerability to infections.