(NewsReady.com) – Vibrio vulnificus is a flesh-eating bacterial infection contracted by eating raw seafood or through open wounds. If left untreated, it can become deadly within days. Sadly, a Texas man recently became one of the bacteria’s latest victims.
An unnamed man in the Galveston area contracted the deadly bacteria after eating raw oysters. According to health officials, the man was in his 30s and had an underlying health condition. People with preexisting conditions that impact their immune systems are at an increased risk of severe infection. Nothing else is known about the man or his death at this time.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued an alert about Vibrio infections this summer. In Florida, eight people have died from the infections so far in 2023. Five of those deaths were in the Tampa Bay Area, along the Gulf Coast, in recent months.
The bacteria live in warm, salty, or brackish (a mix of fresh and salty) waters. The Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico have been unusually warm over the last several months as a heat wave swept across the nation. That allowed the bacteria to flourish and cause people to fall ill and die.
Health experts have warned people with open wounds to stay out of the water. Those who eat raw seafood or live/vacation along the coast should also know the infection’s symptoms. Health officials list the following:
- Fluid-filled blisters on the skin that are painful or discolored
- Skin that is red or swollen
- Confusion or an altered mental state
- Fast heart rate
- Dizziness, fainting, weakness, or low blood pressure
Anyone exhibiting symptoms of an infection should contact their doctor to receive treatment. People who contract the infection sometimes need to have their limbs amputated because it can cause necrosis (dead tissue), which is why it’s often called the “flesh-eating bacteria.”
It’s especially important for those in the hurricane belt to avoid entering floodwaters.
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