Along the east coast of the United States, a rare flesh-eating bacteria has been responsible for the deaths of eight individuals, prompting warnings against swimming in the water and eating shellfish.
The vibrio vulnificus bacteria was responsible for the deaths of five persons in Florida. New York City, Connecticut, and Long Island each accounted for one of the other three fatalities.
Anyone who had wounds, including cuts and scratches, was strongly discouraged from entering the water by the authorities.
The two people who were found dead in Connecticut are thought to have been swimming in the estuary of the Atlantic Ocean known as Long Island Sound when they were overcome by water and drowned.
According to the reports, a third individual was sent to the hospital after swallowing raw oysters while dining at a restaurant located in another state.
The investigation into the origin of the virus is still ongoing at the city of New York’s health department.
According to the statement released by the Governor of New York, Kathy Hochul, “while the vibrio bacteria is uncommon, it has unfortunately made its way to this region and can be extremely dangerous.”
While we continue our investigation, all residents of New York are required to maintain a heightened state of awareness and take all appropriate precautions to protect themselves and their families. These measures include staying out of the water with open wounds and advising those with compromised immune systems to avoid eating raw or undercooked shellfish that may be contaminated with the bacteria.
The tragic events that led to all five deaths in Florida took place in the Tampa Bay area.
Vibrio vulnificus infections have been verified in a total of 26 people throughout the state since the beginning of the year. In 2017, Florida reported a total of 74 cases, including 17 deaths due to the disease.
The high death toll that occurred in 2022 might be linked back to a rise in bacteria levels brought on by Hurricane Ian, which caused raw sewage to be released into the ocean.
It is believed that the bacteria is responsible for 800,000 illnesses and around 100 deaths annually in the United States. The bulk of infections take place in the summer when the temperature is higher. In the United States, the bacterium is accountable for these numbers.
An increase in the number of infections
Between 1998 and 2018, the number of reported infections in the United States grew by a factor of eight, and experts think that climate change may be to cause.
According to study that was published earlier this year in the journal Nature Portfolio, the bacteria are able to travel northward along the East Coast at a rate of around 30 miles per year when the coastal waters where they inhabit warm up.
If you get the illness by eating shellfish that has not been cooked thoroughly, you may have gastrointestinal symptoms such as fever, chills, and vomiting.
This bacteria may cause a disease known as necrotizing fasciitis, which has the potential to quickly spread and kill up to twenty percent of persons who are infected with it. In certain cases, amputations are required as a standard course of therapy for various conditions. People whose immune systems are already compromised are at the greatest risk.
Professor William Schaffner from the School of Medicine at Vanderbilt University emphasized the need of maintaining fundamental levels of cleanliness in order to stop the spread of illness. If you have a wound that is still healing or if your immune system is impaired in any way, you should avoid going near water. Instead, he recommended going outside to soak up some rays.
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