Necrotising Fasciitis and Varicella

In the research I did while writing my previous post about  the ‘miraculous’ cure of Jake Finkbonner, I learned about a connection between necrotising fasciitis and chicken pox.

Many of the people who are anti-vaccine, or who promote themselves as pro-safe vaccines, consider chicken pox to be a harmless childhood disease and avoid vaccinating their children. They believe that the risks outweigh the benefits for the vaccine.

Most of the time, chicken pox is merely uncomfortable and associated with mild fever. Occasionally, however, more severe complications can result, and one of these is necrotising fasciitis, or ‘flesh eating disease’.

Although rare, the connection has been known for over a decade, and a Canadian study looked at that association.

Between November 1, 2001 and October 31, 2003, 36 NF cases were identified (mean age, 5.9 +/- 5 years). Group A streptococcus (GAS)-related and non-GAS-related NF accounted for 2.12 and 0.81 cases per million children, respectively. The annual incidence was substantially higher in children under age 5 years (5.9 vs 1.8 per million; P = .0002). Males over age 1 year had the highest disease burden, with 12 cases per million, versus 3.2 cases per million for females under age 1 year (P < .0001). Most (15/26; 58%) GAS-related cases were associated with varicella. Complications occurred in 29 children (78%), and 2 children (5.4%) died.

Back in 2003,a group from the Division of Orthopaedics, Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ont. conducted a study published in  the Canadian Journal of Surgery . They concluded:

Necrotizing fasciitis should be suspected in any child with a history of varicella infection and an increasing complaint of pain and swelling in an extremity or other body area associated with increasing fever, erythema, lethargy and irritability.

Necrotising fasciitis is extremely rare and can develop from many different sources of infection. Unlike most sources, chicken pox is one that can be almost entirely eliminated by  the widespread us of vaccines.

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