Health advisory issued for rare bacterial infection that has claimed the lives of a dozen Americans [View all]
Source: USA Today
Published 9:29 p.m. ET Sept. 6, 2023
A health alert has been issued by The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in response to recent reports of a fatal bacterial infection that thrives in warm coastal waters. The Vibrio vulnificus bacteria can be found in raw or undercooked seafood, saltwater, and brackish water. The most common way to become infected is when an open wound comes into contact with vibrio bacteria in water.
At least a dozen people have died from the infection across the country this year. About 80,000 people get vibrio infections each year. Of those infected, about 100 people will die from the infection annually in the U.S., according to the CDC. As ocean waters continue to warm due to climate change, the Vibrio vulnificus is migrating north, studies have found.
"The warmer water is, the more bacteria can reproduce faster," researcher Gabby Barbarite at Florida Atlantic University's Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute in Fort Pierce, Florida told USA Today. Infections have increased eight-fold between 1988 and 2018 around he country, according to research published in March in the journal Nature Portfolio.
The bacteria and infections are spreading northwards up the East Coast at a rate of about 30 miles a year, researchers share. "Cases used to be concentrated almost exclusively in the Gulf of Mexico in the southern United States," Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease expert at Vanderbilt University, told USA TODAY earlier this year.
Read more: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/health/2023/09/06/cdc-flesh-eating-bacteria-advisory-issued/70781843007/
Link to info on alert - https://emergency.cdc.gov/han/2023/han00497.asp