A deadly bacteria from Gulf of Mexico salt waters, one labeled a “flesh-eating virus,” has claimed its fourth victim: a Florida man who contracted the illness while swimming in Mississippi.
The Florida man died on Thursday after exposure to saltwater during a visit to Mississippi, according to health officials. His name and age have been withheld under the state’s privacy laws.
Although it has been called the “flesh eating virus,” the bacteria, called Vibrio vulnificus, can be contracted when eating raw seafood, seawater, or through a skin wound, said the Florida Health Department.
“It is always a concern from year to year, especially with extreme heat,” Anne Gayle Ellis, Florida Department of Health spokesperson,told WFLA NBC News Channel 8. She told the network that infections are rare.
Florida health officials say they’ve had 10 cases this year and four deaths. Advisories have warned people to avoid eating raw shellfish and urged anyone with open wounds or scratches to stay out of the water. In severe cases, the vibrio bacteria can break down the skin, requiring surgery, amputation or even causing death, hence the misnomer “flesh eating bacteria.”
Read more: http://rt.com/usa/269821-florida-man-dies-saltwater-bacteria/