IT IS NOT SOME INTERNET HOAX.
Nearly 1,000 people reported being infected by the bacteria between 1988 and 2006, but officials say the disease often goes unreported.
PLEASE HEED THE WARNINGS AND NOT ANY STATE TOURISM DEPARTMENT'S TAKE ON IT!
IT'S ALREADY QUICKLY KILLED TWO THIS YEAR AND HAS COST ANOTHER HIS FOOT.
IT IS NOT JUST IN THE GULF, BUT ALSO IN RIVERS NEAR THE GULF, AND CAN BE FOUND IN OTHER WARM, 'DIRTY' WATER.
Many types of bacteria can cause necrotizing fasciitis (e.g., Group A streptococcus (Streptococcus pyogenes), Staphylococcus aureus,Clostridium perfringens, Bacteroides fragilis, Vibrio vulnificus, Aeromonas hydrophila).
BUT OF THAT LIST, THERE ARE TWO MOST COMMONLY REPORTED TYPES OF BACTERIA TO BE AWARE OF AS REGARDS THIS "FLESH-EATING" WARNING.
1~THE 'GROUP A STREPTOCOCCUS' VARIETY WHICH CAUSE NECROTIZING FASCIITIS, WHICH SPREADS VERY QUICKLY AND IS EXTREMELY DEADLY.
THESE BACTERIA CAN DEVELOP FROM ANY POORLY TREATED WOUND OR INFECTION.
Each year in the United States, there are about 650 to 850 cases of necrotizing fasciitis caused by group A strep.
"The hallmark of clinical diagnosis of necrotizing fasciitis is pain out of proportion to physical findings.
Suspicion of underlying soft tissue infection should prompt urgent surgical examination.
Therapy consists of definitive excisional surgical debridement in conjunction with high-dose intravenous penicillin G and clindamicin.
Risk factors for mortality include advanced age, underlying illness, hypotension, and bacteremia.
CONCLUSION: Necrotizing soft tissue infections due to Group A streptococcus might be increasing in frequency and aggression. Overall mortality remains high (20% to 34% in larger series). Clinical diagnosis requires a high level of suspicion and should prompt urgent surgical referral."
"The bacteria infect flat layers of a membrane known as the fascia, connective bands of tissue that surround muscles, nerves, fat, and blood vessels. The infection also damages the tissues next to the fascia. Sometimes toxins made by these bacteria destroy the tissue they infect, causing it to die. When this happens, the infection is very serious and can result in loss of limbs or death."
SO, WITH THESE BACTERIA, WATCH ALL WOUNDS AND UNRESOLVED INFECTIONS WITHIN THE BODY CAREFULLY.
YOU CAN BECOME INFECTED WITH NECROTIZING FASCIITIS FROM THESE BACTERIA NO MATTER WHERE YOU LIVE, AND THESE BACTERIA ARE VERY RARELY TO BLAME FOR BEACH-GOERS' WOES.
2~ VIBRIO VULNIFICUS, ANOTHER TYPE OF BACTERIA THAT IS FOUND IN WARM AND/OR BRACKISH (POLLUTED) WATERS, ARE ALSO LINKED TO NECROTIZING FASCIITIS.
DANGEROUS FOODBORNE INFECTIONS ARE ALSO OFTEN CONTRACTED FROM EATING RAW SEAFOOD CONTAMINATED BY V. VULNIFICUS, SO YOU SUSHI-LOVERS BE AWARE OF THAT AS WELL.
BECAUSE THESE BACTERIA DO NOT MEET THE "OFFICIAL CLASSIFICATION" FOR FLESH-EATING BACTERIA, THOSE STATES WHICH SEE HIGH INFECTION RATES OFTEN TRY TO DOWNPLAY THESE ORGANISMS AS "NOT A REAL THREAT TO BEACHGOERS".
HAVE A LOOK AT THE PHOTOS AT THE END OF THIS BLOG AND SEE IF YOU AGREE.
YES, THEY DO "EAT FLESH"!
They include blisters on the skin, diarrhea, vomiting, fevers and chills.
Also pay close attention to any area of the skin that is warm to the touch and is taking on a purplish color, or has pain that seems too great for such a small lesion.
IF YOU HAVE RECENTLY BEEN IN GULF WATERS, OCEAN OR RIVERS, OR EATEN RAW OR BARELY COOKED SEAFOOD AND YOU EXHIBIT SUCH SYMPTOMS, SUSPECT THAT YOU HAVE BEEN INFECTED AND GO IMMEDIATELY TO THE EMERGENCY ROOM, AS EVEN MINUTES COUNT.
NO, THIS IS NOT A "BE AFRAID" BLOG, BUT A "BE AWARE!" WARNING AS TWO HAVE ALREADY DIED IN THE PAST WEEK FROM THIS, ONE FROM FOOD, ONE FROM SWIMMING.
Accurate diagnosis, prompt treatment with intravenous antibiotics, and surgery are important to stopping this infection that can become life-threatening in a very short amount of time.
In a healthy person, the bacteria causes vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain.
The bacteria can travel into the bloodstream, causing severe disease with a 50 percent fatality rate.
It also causes skin lesions, which is why it is known as a flesh-eating disease.
In 2013, 27 cases and 9 deaths due to V. vulnificus were reported just in Florida.
In 2014, Vibrio vulnificus sent 32 people to the hospital in Florida and killed 10, according to the New Times.
Thirteen cases were reported in Florida by August 2014, six in Maryland, 10 in Mississippi and four in Texas, according to CNN.
[NOTE: The Florida Department of Health issues warnings every year as Florida, other Gulf Coast states and, surprisingly, MARYLAND have the highest numbers of cases to date.
In a public relations move that perhaps should be condemned, the Mississippi Gulf Coast Chamber of Commerce recently held a "panel discussion to provide 'factual' information to the public", to alleviate alarm.
FACT IS, IT CAN KILL YOU QUICKLY, MISSISSIPPI!
STOP THINKING ABOUT THE IMPACT OF THE OUTBREAK ON TOURIST DOLLARS AND THINK SAVING HUMAN LIVES!
AN INFORMED PUBLIC CAN SURELY MAKE INFORMED DECISIONS, NOT JUST WADE INTO THE WATER OR EAT THE SEAFOOD COMPLETELY UNAWARE OF THE VERY REAL HAZARDS!]
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), V. vulnificus can cause infection either through ingestion or open-wound exposure.
CDC advises the following to prevent V. vulnificus infections, especially among immunocompromised persons:
- Do not eat raw oysters or other raw shellfish. Cook shellfish (oysters, clams, mussels) thoroughly.
- For shellfish in the shell, either a) boil until the shells open and continue boiling for 5 more minutes, or b) steam until the shells open and then continue cooking for 9 more minutes. Do not eat those shellfish that do not open during cooking. Boil shucked oysters at least 3 minutes, or fry them in oil at least 10 minutes at 375°F.
- Avoid cross-contamination of cooked seafood and other foods with raw seafood and juices from raw seafood.
- Eat shellfish promptly after cooking and refrigerate leftovers.
- Avoid exposure of open wounds or broken skin to warm salt or brackish water, or to raw shellfish harvested from such waters.
- Wear protective clothing (e.g., gloves) when handling raw shellfish.
Cases of Vibrio vulnificus typically occur during the summer beach season between May and October.
There are about 95 cases of Vibrio vulnificus in the U.S. every year, including 35 deaths, according to the CDC.
HERE ARE A FEW PHOTOS SO YOU CAN BE AWARE WHAT SUCH INFECTIONS LOOK LIKE, BUT, PLEASE, DO NOT DELAY SEEKING MEDICAL HELP SO THAT YOU CAN AVOID SEEING THIS ON YOUR OWN BODIES.
1~ THE VERY EARLY STAGE OF THE INFECTION.
2~ ADVANCEMENT STAGE, WHICH IS EXTREMELY RAPID
4~ SURGICAL TREATMENT , BARRING AMPUTATION AS A NECESSITY.
5~ Post Knee Disarticulation Amputation. (Unfortunately, same person in
the photo above this one and the second photo I presented, but he lived!)
FOR FURTHER READING, THIS SITE <CLICK HERE> PRESENTS A VERY EASY TO UNDERSTAND BUT IN-DEPTH LOOK AT THIS TYPE OF DANGEROUS INFECTION...IT IS NOT FOR THE SQUEAMISH AS THERE ARE VERY DISTURBING PHOTOS.
BE CAREFUL OUT THERE, PEOPLE OF EARTH!