May 2017: Necrotizing Fasciitis Awareness Month and Day

WHEREAS, necrotizing fasciitis was first described within medical literature in 1883 by Fournier and was originally described as a disease of unknown cause that caused gangrene or cell death of the scrotum; and,

WHEREAS, it is an uncommon clinical disease of the layers of tissue under the skin that attracts a high profile within the popular media where it is often referred to as the “flesh eating bug or virus”; and,

WHEREAS, the most common causes of the disease are the bacteria group A hemolytic, Streptococcus pyogenes and Staphylococcus aureus, either alone or in combination.  Other cases are reported to be caused by other types of bacteria including those naturally found within the intestines of normal healthy individuals; and,

WHEREAS, necrotizing fasciitis can occur in any age group, although sometimes there are precipitating factors. It is most commonly associated with surgical procedures, but may be seen in those with diabetes mellitus, atherosclerotic vascular disease, malignancy and hypertension; and,

WHEREAS, in rare occasions it may occur following minor injuries to the skin, falls, cuts or tears but sometimes is not apparent and can occur in apparently healthy individuals; and,

WHEREAS, though it can affect anywhere on the body, the most common sites for it to involve are the abdomen, arms, legs, extremities, and face particularly around the eyes; and,

WHEREAS, while progress has been made in understanding the symptoms and better diagnosing the disease, there is still much to learn about necrotizing fasciitis. With increased research, the goal of discovering the cause, improving treatment and finding a cure are attainable;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Rick Snyder, governor of Michigan, do hereby proclaim May 2017 as Necrotizing Fasciitis Awareness Month and May 31, 2017 as Necrotizing Fasciitis Awareness Day in Michigan.