Forget Ebola, Florida Issues "Flesh-Eating Bacteria" Public Health Warning

Tyler Durden's picture

As Ebola spreads mercilessly across the world, it appears Florida has a problem that sounds just as awful. As CBS reports, Florida health officials are warning beachgoers about a seawater bacterium that can invade cuts and scrapes to cause flesh-eating disease. At least 11 Floridians have contracted Vibrio vulnificus so far this year and two have died, according to the most recent state data.



Not exactly great news for Florida beach season...

Vibrio vulnificus –- a cousin of the bacterium that causes Cholera –- thrives in warm saltwater, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. If ingested, it can cause stomach pain, vomiting and diarrhea. But it can also infect open wounds and lead to “skin breakdown and ulceration,” according to the CDC.


“Since it is naturally found in warm marine waters, people with open wounds can be exposed to Vibrio vulnificus through direct contact with seawater,” the Florida Department of Health said in a statement.




Florida isn’t the only state to report Vibrio vulnificus infections. Alabama, Louisiana, Texas and Mississippi have also recorded cases, and a 2013 outbreak linked to contaminated shellfish sickened at least 104 people in 13 states, according to the CDC.


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The CDC's advice:

  • Avoid exposing open wounds to warm saltwater, brackish water or to raw shellfish
  • Wear protective clothing when handling raw shellfish
  • Cook shellfish thoroughly and avoid food contamination with juices from raw seafood
  • Eat shellfish promptly after cooking and refrigerate leftovers

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Spungo's picture

I'm working on a biological weapon that destroys wealth. I call it the Bernanke Strain.

gh0atrider's picture

Bah flesh eating___ whatevers!  Buh Bitcoin or go get phvcked!

0b1knob's picture

I thought EMP weapons were the greatest threat.   Now its flesh eating bacteria.  Or maybe ebola.  Or global warming/climate change, asteroid impact, financial meltdown part two or WWIII.

Silly me.  I just mind my own business and try to live my life.   I'm must be such a fool....

dryam's picture

Don't get me wrong.  I love ZH, but sensationalized articles like this are ridiculous.  Vibrio vulnificus infections have been around for a long time in areas that have brackish water.  Most first year medical students learn about it.  Ice is slippery, hot coffee can burn, and being in brackish water with an open wound can give you a potential lethal infection that is not transmittable to other people.  Articles like this dilutes all of the other great work ZH does.

As for Ebola, I think people should be scared shitless.

acetinker's picture

Ya' might be wrong about this one, fellow traveler.  Vv is trying to break down the seemingly endless supply of tarballs from Deepwater Horizon.  In the process, it has become much more prevalent than is normal.

It will break you down, too. 

Seek_Truth's picture

While Vv has been around for quite some time, and is rather rare, this is not the case with the current outbreak.

It may have something to do with this:

And this:

acetinker's picture

C'mon man!  The first link is behind a paywall, and the second speaks of Ormond Beach, which is on the Atlantic side.  There was a time, before the barricades were erected, that you could ride that beach, from St. Augustine all the way down to Cocoa, where the sand got soft, and nary a toll was levied.  Let's keep it real, K?

Juno Rock's picture

Fresh! Hot off the press! Gettum while they last!

ZH is on that slippery slope of sensationalism. 

It's fast becoming the internet equivalent of check out counter rags.

National Inquirer anyone? 

Bingo Hammer's picture

Haha the smell of your bullshit has a particular NSA tang about it, but no offence, just saying, ya know

Miffed Microbiologist's picture

Have to agree here. I've seen several deaths from this vibrio locally over the years. All were HIV infected men eating raw oysters. I've never seen a wound case. Probably our waters are too cold. Mortality is quite high if you are immunocompromised or have liver disease. Also has a predilection for men. GNR sepsis is a common killer in my world but Vibrio is a small player.

I don't know why this organism is termed "flesh eating". There is a bad lesion and septicemia but no flesh is being consumed. Must be sensationalized for effect. Sad, this just adds to the fears of a global pandemic for no reason.

It is very common for various obscure organisms cause a cluster of infection. I have noted many of them over the years and dutifully reported them to the CDC as requested. Funny, the end report is usually no commonality between those who were infected ( unless a food poisoning with a traceable source). They often disappear just as fast as they start. It's just life on this crazy planet.


willwork4food's picture

Forgive my OT, but Miffed, may I ask you if a person that has half a liver & one good kidney should be worried about eating raw oysters? What about snakebites? Please send the bill to me under ZH. They know me here.

Miffed Microbiologist's picture

IMHO, this would not be a good idea but I am not a dr nor play one on TV. Unless this is a life passion, I would not indulge, at least not raw. There are plenty of good aphrodisiacs that can substitute as well. ;-)

Anytime you have a challenged liver or kidney, infections can be worse. However, I've seen diabetics without kidney damage yet die from septicemia very quickly so don't just assume you don't have a chance. I had severe asthma for 25 years and my dad died at 63 from COPD. Respiratory is my weak area. Mr miffed get a cold and when I catch it it manifests much worse in me. I just realize I must stay as healthy as possible.

Believe me, I admire you very much. You have gone down the road less traveled. Remember, plants heal (alkalizing ) Mushroom are fascinating ( we use Reishi and Lions Mane with good results. Chinese medicine has some good options too. Ashwagandha, Amla berry, Holy Basil and Tribulus too. Remember stress is something you don't need! Find your personal escape. Mine is nature and yoga ( I really should add less ZH but that would be hypocritical) ;-)

About the bill. You owe me nothing. I owe you a thanks for your story and gratitude for your great comments over the years. I hope that makes us square.

Be well and, yes, you are very much in my thoughts and prayers.


Farqued Up's picture

My alcoholic liver is back to normal after 4 years if I ignore the scar tissue, but I'll sometimes eat cooked oysters if they are well done. I'll never chance eating anything raw without legs that sit and strain the water for sustenance. If it crawls and is cooked, I'll eat it.

I'm lucky, my kidneys are great, which is crucial for liver problems.

zhandax's picture

Does seem more prevalent in warmer climates, but take a look at this..

Stares straight ahead's picture

Vibrio is tough to kill. It's also motile and so yes, it can be a "flesh eater"
There are other flesh eaters that aren't motile, however, like strep. Seems like 50 + cases should be a cause for some alarm if not caution, at least. I disagree with this article being "sensational".

I swim in salt with open wounds all the time. The bacteria leave me alone because of all the sharks swimming around me.

Jafo's picture

How else are you going to get an apocalypse unless you have all of these threats that will happen simultaneously?

PacOps's picture

0b1knob Not so ...

Some few years back I went to an ER with my left foot and ankle inflamed & swollen. Welll ... lets see .... go home and come back if it gets worse and gave me some antibiotic to take. Next day up to my knee. Welll ... lets see. I said BS. I'm in my 60s and dont have the physical resources or time to deal with this at home! Admit me. They finally did. 5 days on a potent cocktail IV drip and it turned around. I was finally told I came close to loosing my lower leg or terminating life.

Be agressive no matter your age!

No brackish water. Just day to day living.

ebear's picture

grizzly bear attacks are on the rise!

Headbanger's picture

And there's no doubt THEY are flesh eating!

knukles's picture

This shit gets better and better by the moment.
Just wait until some real bad ass terrible diseases break out courtesy of the 2 legged sand fleas streaming across the border and some exchange of bodily fluids with a few African travelers.
Tax the system to collapse

Your Cloward-Piven Tax Dollars at Work.

Nowhere in memory do I recollect this behavior before... simply letting the sick and etc., stream into the country.
FFS people, they used to check baggage for bugs, insects... used to ask if you'd been on a farm and whammo ..... now nothing
Welcome everybody, who gives a shit about your background!
You're free to roam about, we'll even pay for it.  And give you shelter and spending money, to boot!

This is crazy
We're really honest to God on the Crazy Train

Ralph Spoilsport's picture

Best comment I've seen about this immigrant mess anywhere. The health regulations are suddenly on hold but nobody notices/cares, even with Ebola running around the globe.

PacOps's picture

The Border Cops have expressed their concern. They have to follow the law.

PacOps's picture

Thanks for the heads-up on the fight you left us for a few days ago - smokin' hot! That kid.

Gennady Golovkin
playnstocks's picture

Drive from Vegas to LA and they stop and ask me if I have any fruit in the car. FRUIT! WTF!!

I just point at my wife just her!

PacOps's picture

Your first trip across?

Same question for the last forever for cars (I'm 72) unless you are walking, swimming or jet skiing across the border.

CA is nuts with politics but we (the farmers) are paranoid about fruit pests.

90's Child's picture

Yeah I remember all the time going from Reno (not through Donners pass but up through stead -> coldsprings -> California border towards Northern California) and they'd always ask if we had any fruit and if so what kinda.
Now you can drive right through Donners pass and have the bad kinda of fruit they are worried about and it don't matter cause they don't stop you to find out.

Bingo Hammer's picture

"Buttcoin" is the answer; it can be used in all the money slots 

Dublinmick's picture

That has been going on for years down here Tyler, many stories of commercial fisherman being eaten up with it especially over around Indian River in the intercoastal waterway where the dump sewage into the ocean.

Ralph Spoilsport's picture

I've been watching for the Chesapeake Bay watermen to start reporting this. There's a guy in Baltimore who recently got infected and almost lost his leg.

takeaction's picture

Well....I may be nuts...maybe not.  Just ordered a Kappler Suit off Ebay for $14 bucks.  Level 3 Zytron Hazmat suit may come in handy....I would recommend taking a look at this...
Find out which one you think will help.....and jump over on Ebay to grab one for dirt cheap at the moment......just go to ebay and type in "Kappler"....I feel better already.....all of this shit going down....Where is the deer?

zorba THE GREEK's picture

Let's hope all the banksters vacation in Florida this year

neuronius's picture

some of those strains sound like they describe parts of the female anatomy... Vibrio vulnificus... that's too many v's.

booboo's picture

Vibrio vulnificus no doubt is a strain related to Vulvar vestibulitis and can be easily verified via smell testing fish.

erg's picture

V. : But on this most auspicious of nights, permit me then, in lieu of the more commonplace soubriquet, to suggest the character of this dramatis persona. Voila! In view humble vaudevillian veteran, cast vicariously as both victim and villain by the vicissitudes of fate. This visage, no mere veneer of vanity, is a vestige of the “vox populi” now vacant, vanished. However, this valorous visitation of a bygone vexation stands vivified, and has vowed to vanquish these venal and virulent vermin, van guarding vice and vouchsafing the violently vicious and voracious violation of volition.
The only verdict is vengeance; a vendetta, held as a votive not in vain, for the value and veracity of such shall one day vindicate the vigilant and the virtuous.
Verily this vichyssoise of verbiage veers most verbose, so let me simply add that it’s my very good honour to meet you and you may call me V.
Evey: Are you like a crazy person?
V. : I’m quite sure they will say so.

acetinker's picture

Yep erg, you're mad as a march hare, and so am I.  Trouble is, it's almost August, and that shit matters, in my book

So, cheer up Amigo!  It can only get worse frome here.

knukles's picture

Oh August!
It's vacation time in FRANCE!
Imagine the banlieues aflame, with the Palestinian and fellow Muzzies protesting anything their little hearts desire! 


IridiumRebel's picture

I drive a vulva. What do you drive?

Ralph Spoilsport's picture

There's something about an aqua Volvo man.

Gotta be pretty old to remember that one.

acetinker's picture

I'm kind of tired of eggheads.  Y'know, people who think they know stuff because they've been to 'university' and such.  You don't know your ass from a hole in the ground, knuckles, and that will be very apparent to you, very soon.

I will continue to call you an educated idiot each and every time you encroach me.  Fuck off.

erg's picture

I think my transition into senility is going to be a seamless one. The loss of hearing as I go is going to provide an addition vector of humor as well I think.

erg's picture

With the myriad threats from without, soon we will all be bubble boys and girls. Self-contained above water living apparatus. 


virgilcaine's picture

Climbing into the bunker..this is enough for ol Virgil.



Make_Mine_A_Double's picture

Nothing that a dose of bath salts won't cure.