VIBRIO VULNIFICUS: Flesh-eating disease in Florida ocean kills 2

Florida health officials are warning people about a flesh-eating disease that can invade cuts and scrapes.

The disease, vibrio vulnificus, is a bacterium that thrives in warm salt water, according to ABC News.

The bacteria can cause stomach pain, vomiting and diarrhea if ingested and can also infect open cuts or scrapes. If it gets into cuts and scrapes it can lead to skin breakdown and infection.

Another way the bacteria is spread is through eating and handling contaminated oysters and shellfish, according to the CDC.

So far, only a few states have reported cases of the flesh-eating bacteria. Florida has had 11 cases so far this year and two people have died. Last year 11 people died in 41 cases reported.

The other states with infections are Alabama, Louisiana, Texas and Mississippi.

Last year a contaminated shellfish outbreak cause at least 104 to be sick in 13 states.

People who contract the vicious bacteria can be treated and recover with antibiotics but some severe cases require surgery and amputation. Experts say people with weaker immune systems are also more susceptible to the disease.

In order to avoid this disease the CDC recommends to avoid exposing open wounds to salt water, wear protective gear when handling raw shellfish and cook shellfish thoroughly. They also recommend to eat shellfish quickly after cooking and immediately refrigerate leftovers.

 

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