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How common is flesh-eating bacteria?

An infection by flesh-eating bacteria, or necrotizing fasciitis, is rare. However, Streptococcus pyogenes, also known as Group A Streptococcus (GAS), is a very common bacterium. When S. pyogenes gets into your body through a wound like a cut, it can cause the invasive GAS disease necrotizing fasciitis, which kills tissue at a rapid pace. Between 9,000 and 11,500 Americans contract an invasive GAS disease each year and about 6% to 7% of those develop necrotizing fasciitis.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.