Special precautions should be taken this summer, as Florida waters host a flesh eating bacteria that is very dangerous for humans.
Last year 32 cases of contamination with Vibrio vulnificus, the flesh eating bacteria, have been reported in Florida. Out of these seven lead to the death of the patients. Therefore, the authorities have decided to urge people to take better care of themselves and their loved ones so as to keep safe from this invisible foe.
There are two main situations that are known to lead to the contamination of humans with Vibrio vulnificus. On one hand, there is the possibility of contamination by going into the water of the ocean open wounds present on the skin surface.
And on the other hand, it is possible to get infected by eating raw shellfish. And while you might think that raw shellfish are easy to avoid, you should be warned that improperly and insufficiently cooked shellfish pose danger as well. Therefore, it is of the utmost importance that this summer you pay special attention to what you eat.
The presence of this bacteria in saltwater is normal. However, it thrives at temperatures of 69 to 96 degrees Fahrenheit and therefore it is able to become particularly abundant during summertime.
Florida offers the perfect environment for the development of this bacteria and this is why there have been so many cases reported there.
When an otherwise healthy person eats contaminated shellfish, the symptoms of the infection are non-specific. They include episodes of diarrhea, headaches and significant abdominal pain.
On the other hand, when the contamination occurs due to the exposure of a skin lesion, the symptoms remain local. The wound will become infected and there will be local pain.
In the event that you notice yourself or somebody else displaying these symptoms, it is advisable that a medical professional’s help is sought, so that the condition can be properly dealt with. In most cases, the right course of treatment leads to a full recovery.
The situation becomes truly dangerous for those who are more sensitive, such as children, elderly people and those who suffer from other serious diseases at the time of infection, as it is harder for their bodies to fight off the infection.
People who have a particularly weakened immune system can develop life-threatening conditions if they get contaminated with Vibrio vulnificus. This category includes AIDS patients and cancer patients who are going though chemotherapy in particular, but also people who suffer from other serious conditions.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes that chronic liver conditions render the patient extremely vulnerable to this infection.
In these aggravated conditions the symptoms can include local necrosis that starts form the initially infected skin lesion and extends considerably, but more importantly, systemic infections that can prove extremely difficult to treat and therefore can easily lead to the death of the patient.
It is very important that you take care of yourself and carefully look for open skin lesions before going in the water. In the even you identify a lesion, it is strongly advise that you stay out of the water at least until it is closed.
Also, you must be extremely attentive where you eat your meals during summertime, where you buy your food and even how you store and cook your food, as there are many pathogens out there aside from Vibrio vulnificus that you can get contaminated with.
Image Source: gannett-cdn.com