Officials at Rochester Regional Health System told Messenger Post's news partner News 10NBC that patients have been treated for necrotizing fasciitis, commonly referred to as flesh eating bacteria, at Rochester General Hospital.

Federal health care privacy laws prevent officials from sharing specific patient information, but they say none of the cases have been contracted within the hospital.

Necrotizing fasciitis can be fatal if not quickly and properly treated. The symptoms can include pain in the general area of a cut or abrasion, redness and warmth around the wound, rapidly spreading redness, flu-like symptoms, and intense thirst due to dehydration. If you have any of these symptoms, you should seek medical treatment immediately.

Ed Walsh, MD, chief of infectious disease at Rochester General Hospital, provided this statement: "Rochester Regional has comprehensive protection and isolation precaution measures in place to minimize the risk of transmission of infectious disease to patients, employees and the community at large. These very effective, standard best practices are used in our hospitals and throughout the system. We believe there is minimal risk of anyone at the hospital contracting the disease."

Walsh also says the hospital is working with the state and local health departments to determine if the cases are linked to other possible cases in the community.

— whec.com