An 83-year-old Louisiana man died and three others were sickened after being exposed to flesh-eating bacteria while swimming in the Gulf of Mexico, CBS Houston reports.
The flesh-eating bacteria that infected each swimmer is known as Vibrio vulnificus, according to the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals, which is advising beach-goers on its website to take precautions when swimming.
Vibrio vulnificus thrives in warm seawater and becomes a greater risk during the summer as more people head to the beaches along Louisiana’s Gulf Coast. Side-effects associated with Vibrio vulnificus include vomiting, diarrhoea, and abdominal pain. It can also lead to blistering skin lesions in those with weaker immune systems. The bacteria results in death 50% of the time if it infects the bloodstream, according to centres for Disease Control and Prevention.
The man who died became infected while on a fishing boat when water splashed into an open wound, TheTalkTown.com reports. The three people who became ill also had some kind of open wound.
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