Cancel summer: There is a flesh-eating bacteria infecting people at Florida beaches

Summer is a garbage season anyway

Published June 15, 2015 5:10PM (EDT)

     (<a href=''>Valeri Potapova</a> via <a href=''>Shutterstock</a>)
(Valeri Potapova via Shutterstock)

Summer is a garbage season that was invented by PacSun to sell bathing suits. It is sweaty and you can't wear pants and everyone smells bad and you are constantly either too hot or too cold because humanity has seemingly not reached a level of technological advancement that would allow us to properly air condition buildings. The sole good thing about this hell season is the ability to sit on a beach until you are hot and then swim in some water.

But you can't even do that now.

Florida beaches are currently suffering from the presence of Vibrio vulnificus bacterium, a rare flesh-eating bacteria, that has caused seven deaths this season, and infected at least 32 in the past year.

"People get Vibrio by swimming, wading and playing in salt or brackish waters with open wounds or scratches," said Dr. Carina Blackmore, the deputy state epidemiologist in Florida.

To protect yourself against the bacteria, practice good wound care, by covering any open wounds or sores before and after entering salt water. Undercooked shellfish can also lead to Vibrio, so it is wise to thoroughly cook oysters, clams and mussels.

Healthy people will generally only experience mild symptoms, but those with weakened immune systems should take extra precautions. When left untreated, Vibrio can cause vomiting and diarrhea, skin infection and, if the bacteria invade the bloodstream, they can lead to septic shock and death.

State health authorities, however, are assuring residents and tourists that its beaches are fine:

"Florida's beaches and water are safe to enjoy responsibly -- risk of infection is minimal if you take proper precautions," reads a statement.

Close beaches, cancel summer.

By Joanna Rothkopf

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Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Bacteria Beaches Diseases Florida Health Infections Summer Vibrio Vulnificus Video