Deathly Bacterial Infections Increase in Florida Following Hurricane Ian

Following Hurricane Ian, Florida is experiencing an increase in fatal infections brought on by the “flesh-eating” bacteria Vibrio vulnificus.

According to a news release from Florida health officials, at least four individuals have died and 29 have contracted an infection in Lee County as a result of the hurricane.

The Florida Department of Health claims that warm, brackish waters contains the bacteria Vibrio vulnificus. Health experts advised those with open wounds or cuts to stay away from any nearby standing water, floodwater, or ocean.

The department warned in a news statement that sewage overflows in coastal areas, such those brought on by Hurricane Ian, “may raise bacteria levels.” Vibrio vulnificus can be transmitted to people by direct contact with seawater or brackish water if they have open wounds, scrapes, or scratches. A sickness caused by Vibrio vulnificus can also be contracted by eating raw or undercooked seafood and oysters.

An infection may result in a fatal sickness. Fever, chills, low blood pressure, and blistering skin sores are among symptoms. No one can contract the bacterium from another individual.

“If someone is suffering the following symptoms and thinks they may have been exposed to Vibrio vulnificus, they should seek medical assistance right away,” officials advised in the statement. “People with wound infections should also get treatment right away.”

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