A flesh-eating bacteria, Vibrio vulnificus, is thriving in Florida waters. In 2014, Florida found 32 cases of infection of flesh eating bacteria in the water. Of the people that were infected, seven of them died. This year, eight cases have been reported and out of those, two people have died. Swimming in water that is fresh is the best way to keep away from coming in contact with the bacteria but summer times brings on outdoor swimming. Families spend time at the beach and in waters with many other people and other life forms like bacteria. AAA Water Team has prepared this quick guide outlining what you need to know about flesh eating bacteria this summer.
Warm Water Loving Flesh Eating Bacteria
One of the ways that you can contract this bacteria is by eating raw or under cooked shellfish. The reason that shellfish are a problem is because the bacteria likes the nice warm water which is where the shellfish tend to lay. The second way that you can come in contact with the bacteria is through the contaminated water itself. The water that has the presence of this bacteria can come in contact with a person that has an open wound or sore. There has not been sufficient evidence to support the hypothesis that bacteria can travel from one person to then next.
Symptoms and Treatment of Flesh Eating Bacteria
How do you know you have it? Flesh eating bacteria is just like other infection and needs to be diagnosed by a doctor. The doctor will ask about stomach pain, diarrhea, vomiting and fevers which are some of the signs and symptoms. The best way to be sure about the diagnosis is to have a culture done on your blood. It is best to report it right away if you think you have been infected by the bacteria to help stop the spread to more people. This infection must be treated by a health care professional. Sometimes the sore where the bacteria is eating away the skin has to be cleaned out and the bad flesh needs to be removed; this can sometimes lead to amputation of the affected limb.
Flesh Eating Bacteria Prevention
You can prevent it. Make sure that if you are going to eat shellfish they are cooked all the way through. Most shellfish can be boiled or steamed and if they are not open all the way they are not cooked. You can also make sure that you wear gloves when working with shellfish. You can also make sure that if you are swimming in open waters, you do not have any open sores on your body. It is also a great idea to wear water shoes when swimming and to rinse off after.