If you’re heading for the beaches of Florida this summer, you have to be extra careful as there is a flesh-eating bacteria lurking in the water.
The name of this vicious flesh-eating bacteria is Vibrio vulnificus and it thrives in warm salty water, making the beach the ideal home for it.
When a person who has an open wound goes into the contaminated water, the bacteria is permitted to pass very easily into the body and so its development is accelerated. It can cause the wound to become heavily infected and even necrosis at the site of the wound.
Another very common means of contamination is eating raw seafood. It appears that oysters present a particular risk of infection. In this type of contamination, mainly digestive symptoms are observed. These involve “vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain”, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The high risk group of this type of bacterial disease are people who have a weakened immune system, like people who are currently undergoing chemotherapy or people who are suffering from AIDS.
Also, the CDC mentions that people who are suffering from chronic liver disease are particularly ill-equipped for dealing with Vibrio vulnificus.
In these patients, the symptoms are much worse, as they can involve a systemic development of the bacteria due to the fact that it manages to enter the bloodstream. Thus, it is capable of affecting the major organs and becoming life-threatening.
The Vibrio vulnificus bacteria is naturally found in salty water, but the conditions that Florida beaches present have made it prosper tremendously there. There have been 32 cases of this bacterial infection that have been reported last year, seven of which turned out to be lethal to the patients.
This is why this year, Mara Burger, the spokeswoman of the Florida Health Department has issued a warning for tourists. They were advised not to go into the water in the event that they have open wounds and to stay clear of raw shellfish.
Going into the water when there are open wounds present on the skin surface is strongly inadvisable, regardless of the state you might find yourself in when going to either the beach or the pool.
It is actually one of the main safety rules of swimming. Despite the fact that oceans, seas and lakes pose much greater risks, it is advised that this conduct be kept at pools as well, because open wounds are very easily contaminated.
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