A nasty flesh-eating bacteria is lurking in the waters in Alabama, and it has caused a few people to get very ill, prompting a major warning.
The sudden emergence of a deadly disease in the southern United States has authorities warning people to stay out of the water during the height of summer. A bacteria known as Vibrio, which is often found in lakes, rivers, along the coast, and in brackish bodies of water, has sprung up in Alabama recently, with three cases of the flesh-eating bacteria reported in the state since March.
In one case, someone who consumed raw oysters from another state got it, while the other two may have had open wounds while swimming near Mobile Bay. As a result, the Alabama Department of Health is advising people to stay out of the water if they have cuts or abrasions.
Vibrio vulnificus is an organism that occurs naturally and is usually contracted during the summer month. There are about 80,000 Vibrio infectiosn each year, and it causes about 100 deaths annually. Symptoms include diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain, fever, skin lesions, and infections.
“Most soft-tissue infections occur with either injury or with conditions such as poorly controlled diabetes or low immunity. However, sometimes otherwise healthy people can develop a skin infection after skin injury and being exposed to natural bodies of water. Some bacteria can cause more severe infections than others,” said Dr. Karen Landers, Assistant State Health Officer, ADPH.