Flesh-eating bacteria cases down to two, but new case being studied

The number of confirmed cases of necrotizing fasciitis, more commonly known as flesh-eating bacteria, is now down to two. But a new case could make the number three again.

The Hawai‘i Department of Health, which on Monday reported three cases, has updated the number of cases involving the dangerous infection. One case is now determined not to be the disease; however, a new case is being studied closely.

“In one of those cases, it was decided that it was not NF (necrotizing fasciitis) and just fasciitis,” said Joe Elm, a biologist and epidemiological specialist with the Hawai‘i  Department of Health.

The victim did contract fasciitis, which often results in inflammation and swelling, but the case did not lead to the tissue death that is involved with necrotizing fasciitis.

As that case is dropped from the list of possible confirmations, Elm said that another individual from Hawai‘i is now identified as a possible third victim.

As the Department of Health investigates the clinically compatible fasciitis case, Elm said that until it is verified, the number of confirmed necrotizing fasciitis cases remains at two.

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