July 18, 2019
Summer is here and with the sun and hot weather comes flesh-eating bacteria, which thrives in waters with temperatures above 55 degrees year-round.
It has recently been reported that, so far, nine cases of flesh-eating bacteria contraction have been registered. Out of those nine people, sadly three lost their lives.
The fatal victims succumbed after contracting necrotizing fasciitis, the most severe type of flesh-eating bacteria. The disease is rare but deadly, as it leads to the decay of skin and soft tissues, shutting down the vital organs.
WHERE THE BACTERIA ARE MORE PREDOMINANT
Due to the warm temperatures, most cases of flesh-eating bacteria occur in the southern portion of the Atlantic Coastline, so people should be especially careful around that area.
Six of the reported cases happened in the Gulf of Mexico, where the vibrio species has grown throughout the years thanks to the warm waters.
WHERE THE VICTIMS CONTRACTED THE DISEASE
Unfortunately, the third victim, a 77-year-old woman, did not survive. She passed away at Coquina Beach, in Florida's Anna Maria Island.
The next cases occurred after the Fourth of July celebrations, both in Florida and Texas. Two men, who contracted necrotizing fascitis, died in Okaloosa County and Magnolia Beach, while a third had to be hospitalized in Santa Rosa Beach.
Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Despite the fact that flesh-eating bacteria thrive in southern waters, a recent study has suggested that the vibrio bacteria is spreading north, with cases of people contracting it in New Jersey and near Delaware.
HOW TO PREVENT CONTRACTING THE BACTERIA
However, even though three people lost their lives to necrotizing fasciitis, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention claims that people should not be afraid of water and that the disease is very rare, with only 20,000 cases a year.
It is advisable to practice good hygiene in order to avoid contracting any form of flesh-eating bacteria, and those with open wounds should stay clear of bodies of water, particularly pools and hot tubs.
Eight months ago, a woman named Melissa Evans, from Pike County, Mississipi, almost lost her 6-year-old son Chance Wade to necrotizing fasciitis.
The boy complained about pain in his leg but had no broken bones. As it turns out, he contracted the bacteria after hurting himself. Evans then made sure to warn other parents to be on high alert regarding the disease.