Florida officials: Watch out for flesh-eating bacteria

Thursday, July 31, 2014
By Paul Martin

July 31, 2014

Florida health officials are warning those headed for the water to make sure they’re aware of a flesh-eating bacteria.

Two people have contracted the flesh-eating vibrio vulnificus in the past month in Sarasota County. One victim has died.

The Sarasota County Department of Health says both victims were middle age and had compromising medical conditions. Both are believed to have gotten the infection through open injuries.

Vibrio vulnificus is the bacteria that can lead to flesh-eating condition also known as necrotizing fasciitis. The bacteria live in warm, salty waters.

While infections are rare, health officials say individuals should take precautions.

Michael Drennon, an epidemiologist with the Sarasota County Health Department, says anyone though with an open wound should think twice before heading into warm salt water.

Infections in people with those types of conditions have a 50 percent fatality rate.

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