Flesh-Eating Bacteria Plagues Florida County
(LibertySons.org) – Hurricane Ian left behind massive destruction. People lost their homes or had to salvage what little they could from their flooded residences. The issues are far from over, and a new problem is rearing its head as reports of flesh-eating bacteria are on the rise.
— Lesley Abravanel (@lesleyabravanel) October 18, 2022
The Vibrio vulnificus bacterium is causing an increase in illnesses throughout the region. Florida Health reports individuals may have exposure through seawater. The infection can enter the body through cuts in the skin and initially cause stomach pain, vomiting, and diarrhea. It can become severe in immunocompromised people, leading to tissue death in the infected area. The only cure when it gets to that point is amputation. The bacteria can also cause sepsis, a potentially fatal infection in the blood.
Infection is typically rare, causing a total of 34 illnesses and 10 deaths in 2021. After the hurricane, the numbers jumped. As of October 4, there have been 65 reports of sickness, and 11 people have lost their lives to the infection. The highest numbers have been in hard-hit Lee County.
V. vulnificus usually comes from eating undercooked or raw seafood, but the weather event increased the likelihood of residents coming in contact with infected water. The natural disaster moved the bacteria into local areas through flooding and sewage leaks.
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