Hurricane Idalia: Flesh-Eating Bacteria Lurks in Floodwaters

Florida: Hurricane Idalia made landfall in Florida on September 1, 2023, as a Category 2 storm. The hurricane caused widespread damage in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina. The storm also caused flash floods in several regions, which have not yet cleared out.

In the wake of the hurricane, health officials are warning residents about the presence of flesh-eating bacteria in the floodwaters. The bacteria, called Vibrio vulnificus, is found in warm, saltwater environments. It can cause serious infections, including necrotizing fasciitis, also known as flesh-eating disease.

Vibrio vulnificus can enter the body through open cuts or wounds, or through contact with the eyes, nose, or mouth. The bacteria can also be ingested through contaminated seafood.

People who are most at risk for Vibrio vulnificus infection are those who have open wounds, liver disease, or a weakened immune system.

The risk of Vibrio vulnificus infection is highest in the first few days after a hurricane, but the bacteria can remain in the water for weeks or even months. It is important to take precautions to avoid infection even after the floodwaters have receded.

By taking these precautions, you can help protect yourself from the dangers of flesh-eating bacteria.

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