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Monday, 10 July 2017

Alabama Health Authority Warns of Fesh-Eating Bacteria in Local Waters

Health Authorities in the U.S. state of Alabama, on Monday July 10, issued a warning reminding local residents of a flesh-eating bacteria found in bodies of water throughout the state.

The Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) said in a press release that the bacteria, known as Vibrio, was found mostly in brackish and warm salt water such as bay or gulf waters.

The department cautioned that people with open wounds should avoid direct contact with the water, and that people in general should not eat contaminated, raw or under-cooked seafood.

Once infected, the Vibrio bacteria might lead to destructive soft-tissue infections and other illnesses, the department disclosed.

“Most soft-tissue infections occur with either injury or with conditions such as poorly controlled diabetes or low immunity.

“Healthy people may sometimes develop a skin infection after skin injury and exposure to natural bodies of water,’’ the Assistant State Health Officer, Karen Landers had said.

He expressed that if one has open wounds, cuts, abrasions and sores, such should stay out of the water, adding that persons with low immune systems, cancer, diabetes, liver disease and other chronic conditions should avoid eating raw or undercooked seafood, especially oysters.

According to the ADPH, if a person gets cut while in the water, he or she should immediately wash the wound with soap and fresh water. "If the wounds showed any signs of infection such as redness, pain or swelling or the cut is deep, immediate medical attention should be consulted."

The ADPH further added that symptoms of Vibrio illness might include: diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain, chills, fever, shock, skin lesions and wound infections.

“In someone with a compromised immune system, the bacteria can infect the bloodstream and may result in death,’’ it said.

Immediate treatment is vital since early medical care and antibiotics increase the possibility of survival, according the department.

Sadly, the ADPH revealed that Vibriosis infects some 80,000 people in the U.S. every year, while 100 die from the illness, citing estimation by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (Xinhua/NAN)