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Forget Ebola, Florida Issues "Flesh-Eating Bacteria" Public Health Warning

OWoN: Not so good for real estate values in Florida or tourism.

Zero Hedge
By Tyler Durden
30 July 2014

As Ebola spreads mercilessly across the world, it appears Florida has a problem that sounds just as awful. As CBS reports, Florida health officials are warning beachgoers about a seawater bacterium that can invade cuts and scrapes to cause flesh-eating disease. At least 11 Floridians have contracted Vibrio vulnificus so far this year and two have died, according to the most recent state data.

Not exactly great news for Florida beach season...

Vibrio vulnificus –- a cousin of the bacterium that causes Cholera –- thrives in warm saltwater, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. If ingested, it can cause stomach pain, vomiting and diarrhea. But it can also infect open wounds and lead to “skin breakdown and ulceration,” according to the CDC.

“Since it is naturally found in warm marine waters, people with open wounds can be exposed to Vibrio vulnificus through direct contact with seawater,” the Florida Department of Health said in a statement.

Florida isn’t the only state to report Vibrio vulnificus infections. Alabama, Louisiana, Texas and Mississippi have also recorded cases, and a 2013 outbreak linked to contaminated shellfish sickened at least 104 people in 13 states, according to the CDC.

The CDC's advice:
  • Avoid exposing open wounds to warm saltwater, brackish water or to raw shellfish
  • Wear protective clothing when handling raw shellfish
  • Cook shellfish thoroughly and avoid food contamination with juices from raw seafood
  • Eat shellfish promptly after cooking and refrigerate leftovers

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1 comment :

  1. East Coast Alert! From FL To DC-Area
    Friday, August 1, 2014
    Following news reports in late July about 32 people in the Florida area being hositalized and ten people dying from vibrio vulnificus, which is a flesh eating disease, now reports are comng out about a second man in the DC area has being infected, just days after the first DC-area man was released from the hospital, according to Huffington Post.
    Via – RE: Florida

    Florida Department of Health experts told WFTS that “anyone with a compromised immune system or anyone with an open cut should not go into the water. Those who do jump into the ocean should wash off before heading home.”

    The bacterium, which is similar to the bacteria that causes cholera, can also be contracted by consuming oysters and other raw seafood.

    Re: DC-Area

    A flesh-eating bacterial disease has infected another Washington, D.C.-area man, local media reported on Thursday, just days after a man was released from a hospital following a near-deadly bout with the germ.
    According to the CDC, nationally there is usually only about 95 cases of vibrio vulnificus with 35 of them resulting in death.
    More on this flesh eating disease at the CDC website.


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