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High levels of flesh-eating Vibrio bacteria have been found in the waters of state of Florida, health officials said. It has so far claimed two lives this year in Florida.
The cases of Vibrio infections have been confirmed in Alabama Louisiana, Texas and Mississippi.
The Vibrio bacteria have claimed 11 deaths in Florida last year. The fatal microorganism claims about 100 lives each year, government figures show.
The flesh-eating Vibrio bacteria occur naturally in the waters of Florida. It increases during summer as they thrive in warmer climatic conditions.
The Florida Department of Health said, “Since it is naturally found in warm marine waters, people with open wounds can be exposed to Vibrio vulnificus though direct contact with seawater.”
According to health experts, the bacteria are fatal in nature and can cause death even if it is about half the time inside someone’s bloodstream.
Pamela Crane, Florida Department of Health Deputy press secretary, said, “A person can contract the virus by eating tainted raw shell fish and oysters. And people who swim in seawater who have open wounds are also vulnerable to the bacteria.”
Diarrhea, vomiting and abdominal pain are some of the common symptoms of flesh-eating Vibrio bacteria infection.
The health experts from the CDC ask people to avoid exposure of open wounds to raw shellfish or warm saltwater, the places where virus thrives. The experts also ask people to be extra cautious while handling raw shellfish. They are also asked to remain extra vigilant while washing or cooking shellfish. Food contamination from the raw seafood juices should also be avoided.