Health Department warns water and wounds do not mix

Posted at 5:30 PM, Jun 15, 2015
and last updated 2015-06-15 15:15:27-04

In 2015 the Florida Department of Health (FDOH) has reported eight cases of Vibrio Vulnificus infections, these include two deaths.

Health officials says a spike in cases occurs May to October when water is warmest. And, FDOH warns water and wounds do not mix. Do not enter the water if you have fresh cuts or scrapes.

I heard this morning on the news that there was bacteria, flesh eating bacteria, so it just confirms the fact why I don't go in there

Healthy people infected by the bacteria may get these symptoms, said Vilma Vega, M.D., of Infectious Disease Associates. "Some nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea, if they ingest it, by eating something that's contaminated with the bacteria."

The immune suppressed or those with liver disease could get much worse disease said Dr. Vega, because it could enter the blood stream, through an open cut or wound.

"And, they could develop not only what we call sepsis," Explained Dr. Vega. "Which is a complete shutdown of your body, but it's the fact of developing almost like a man eating flesh type infection in the areas where the wound might be."

A common misconception is of flesh eating bacteria. But, it is infection that may cause the condition, known as necrotizing fasciitis.

Although rare residents and tourists are urged to air on the side of caution

"The fact that there were a few cases reported," Said Dr. Vega, "Makes it more prevalent as a warning to those involved this summer."

Precautions said Dr. Vega include cooking your shellfish and no mixing the uncooked with the cooked, a common mistake

Don't go into warm sea or brackish waters with open wounds.

If you do develop symptoms after being in the waters, seek medical attention and explain where you were and point out any open wounds you may be aware of.

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