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Flesh Eating Disease
Prophecy - Signs
Thursday, May 24, 2012
J.L. Robb

Flesh Eating Disease is medically known as necrotizing fasciitis and causes the destruction of various bodily tissues, ie. fat, muscle and mucous membranes of the digestive, respiratory, urinary and reproductive tracks.

Fasciitis is the inflammation of the fascia, the fibrous connective tissue of the body beneath the skin surface and between muscles, muscle groups and organs.  Any openings in these linings can let in the fast-growing bacteria.  Once the necrosis (death of the tissues involved) sets in, other bacteria can invade the area and grow exponentially.  Often hydrogen and nitrogen is produced by the decaying (necrotizing) tissue and accumulate at the site.

Using the body’s blood stream like an Internet highway, necrotizing fasciitis blocks blood flow and destroys the surrounding tissue, causing gangrene, severe pain; and often, amputation.  Victims usually go into shock; and from looking at some of the photos, I can certainly see why.

According to Harrison’s Principles of Internal Medicine, the infected areas swell and become extremely tender; and the skin changes color, usually a deep red.  The progression of the disease leads to blisters (purple or black) and eventually the infected area becomes dark brown.  The patient may develop low blood pressure, confusion and increased pulse rate.

Now to the devastating story of young Aimee Copeland of Carrollton, Georgia, about sixty miles from where I live.

Four weeks ago, the beautiful 24 year young lady was studying at University of West Georgia for her master’s degree after receiving her undergraduate degree at the University of Georgia.  She was out with friends when they spotted a homemade zip-line along the Little Tallapoosa River.  Throwing caution to the wind, as kids do, she was off like a flash when the zip-line broke and she fell, suffering a deep cut in her leg.  After 22 stitches, the feisty Aimee told her father not to come get her, she was working on a thesis.  Within twenty-four hours, her condition became worse; and three days later, she was admitted to the Joseph M. Still Burn Center of Doctors Hospital in Augusta, Georgia.

One of Aimee’s legs was amputated at the hip; and as of today, she has lost the other foot and both hands. All this, and Aimee still maintains a great attitude. The people of Carrollton, of Georgia, the nation and the world have responded and blood drives are being held daily.

What makes people respond this way, in a world where the news always seems bad?

Todd Cline, the editor of the Gwinnett Daily Post may have summed it up best:

Though many of the people present on Monday had never met Aimee Copeland, they all felt like they know her. “I said we were amazed at her bravery and pray for her daily,” Jane Martin, a Rotary Club member said of the message she wrote to the Copeland family on a card that was available to sign at the blood drive. "The Lord has plans for her future." 

In a county this large, it's easy to forget about the smaller communities that tie it together. And with plenty of bad news to report, it's easy to forget how much good is happening.

But be it a soldier enjoying a simple sandwich, or a person giving blood to help a person they may never meet, it's important to remember the inherent goodness of the masses. And there's no harm in all of us being inspired to be a little better, nicer and kinder.

The owner of Sunnyside Café in Carrollton had this to say:

"She is a ray of sunshine," said Gary Duke, the owner of Carrollton's Sunnyside Cafe, where Copeland worked as a server while pursuing her master's degree at the University of West Georgia. "She is the most optimistic, radiant person that any of us know. She lights up a room."

Though the death rate among those with necrotizing fasciitis is 30%, the disease is rare and is not contagious.  However, as rare as it is, it is becoming more prevalent.  Just down the hall from Aimee Copeland at the Augusta hospital, another man was admitted May 4 with the same disease, the third such case this year in Georgia.  Bobby Vaughn, a 32-year-old landscaper, has now been transferred to a hospital in Atlanta after receiving five surgeries to treat the necrotizing fasciitis that attacked his groin.  He had more than two pounds of dead tissue removed but is apparently out of the woods.

The Bible has a lot to say about plagues and pestilence in the last days.

“For this is what the Sovereign Lord says: How much worse will it be when I send against Jerusalem my four dreadful judgments -sword and famine and wild beasts and plague-to kill its men and their animals!" (Ezekiel 14:21 NIV)

Then he said to them: “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be great earthquakes, famines and pestilences in various places, and fearful events and great signs from heaven.” (Luke 21: 10,11 NIV)

I looked, and there before me was a pale horse! Its rider was named Death, and Hades was following close behind him. They were given power over a fourth of the earth to kill by sword, famine and plague, and by the wild beasts of the earth. (Revelation 6:8 NIV)

Have we seen an increase in plague and pestilence in recent years?

MRSA: Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus is caused by a staphylococcus bacteria that is resistant to most antibiotics known to man.

MRSA infections usually occur in hospitals, nursing homes and other health related facilities, at least that was the case until recently.

According to Dr. Steven Sobol, a children's head and neck specialist at Emory University,  “…there's been an alarming rise" in MRSA infections in the United States.

And there are others to worry about that are becoming more-and-more prevalent:

Hantavirus

Hantavirus is spread by rodents, primarily deer mice and is not contagious.  It is quite deadly however, with more than 50% of folk who get the virus in the lungs die a painful and excruciating death.  Incidence is increasing.

Morgellons Disease

A recent anomaly, and until a newly released CDC study determined that this “disease” is not caused by a virus or infection, most medical scientists believed the disease didn’t really exist.

This painful disease, illness, whatever, has also been studied by the Mayo Clinic and is most prevalent in middle-aged, white women. The disease has been described by the CDC as an “unexplained dermopathy.” Incidence is increasing.

Influenza

The 1918-1919 Spanish Flu pandemic killed an estimated 50 million people in just two years.  Experts agree that this flu was an avian (bird) H1N1 virus with similar properties as the more common H1N5 influenza.  The world continues to experiment, and outcries to stop before the studies get into the hands of terrorists are prevalent.  More soldiers in World War I were killed by the Spanish Flu than were killed in the war.  Reports indicated that some people actually tore their tracheas out, trying to get a breath.

Hepatitis C

Hepatitis C (HCV) is on the increase, and most carriers don’t even know they have it.  The liver destroying virus is usually contracted via shared needles, tattooing and blood transfusions.  AIDS patients are particularly at risk.

HIV AIDS

In the early 1980s, on my first trip to the Caribbean, I met an Emory University Research scientist in St. Croix.  He told me he was doing research on a newly discovered virus that was killing almost everyone it touched.

Within a year, many referred to the new illness as the “Gay Plague” because 100% of the contractees were gay men, caused primarily through anal sex.  The illness was initially detected when a Canadian male flight attendant (first reported case) and five of his male lovers died from the mysterious disease.  The illness, one of the worst in history, eventually spread to bi-sexual men, intravenous drug users; and finally to the general population.  There are now more than 35,000,000 cases world-wide with women making up about half.

New pestilence is discovered frequently in the world and here are a few more you may want to read about:

Ebola

Marburg

Tuberculosis

Lassa

Nipah encephalitis virus

Legionnaire's disease

By the way, the fourth case of Flesh Eating Disease has just been reported in Georgia.

"When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near... Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man." (Luke 21:28,36 NIV)

About J.L. Robb

Last week: Jews, God and the Nobel Prize



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