Watch Out, Florida! More Cases of ‘Flesh-Eating’ Bacteria Have Been Reported Via Fox35 Orlando
Via Fox35 Orlando

Sorry Florida, it looks like you might want to put off swimming for a little while. Well, unless you want a flesh-eating bacteria roaming around your body eating all your tissue. If that’s the case, then go ahead and swim away. But if you don’t then you better be extra careful when going to the beach this summer.

A Tampa woman says she contracted flesh-eating bacteria at a Florida beach, just days after an Orlando woman was infected around the same area. The woman took to Facebook to post about her experience, saying she got the infection after swimming in Manasota Key with a pinhole size cut on her foot.

Just days earlier, Sarah Martinez from Orlando said she also experienced a similar situation after contracting the infection after swimming in Turtle Beach in Sarasota with a nick on her ankle. She was immediately hospitalized and released after doctors gave her some good good antibiotics. Martinez described the cut as red, swollen and she could barely put pressure on her foot when she walked.

But, it, unfortunately, doesn’t end there. Apparently, there have been at least 5 cases of flesh-eating bacteria in the last TWO weeks. All bacterial infections originated at beaches on the west coast of Florida. The victims range from a 77-year-old woman who died from the infection on Anna Maria Island, to a 12-year-old girl who needed several surgeries after being infected Destin.

Florida Gulf Coast scientists say they’re watching cases closely now that it’s summer since warm water gives the bacteria a better opportunity to flourish. Usually, medical experts say they expect the highest number of cases in August as the temperature peaks. Despite there being numerous cases and several warnings, the infection isn’t that common, however, they are certain people who may be more vulnerable. Such as people with cardiovascular dysfunction, diabetes, liver disease, or who those who have open wounds.

So what happens if you get a flesh-eating disease? Well, worst-case scenario, the rate of fatalities when the infection reaches one’s bloodstream is high, from 50 percent. So, if you have any swelling, severe pain, or feel a sting on a small cut after you get out of the ocean, you should go to an emergency room immediately since it can be treated by the use of antibiotics. The most common bacterial infection is known as Vibrio Bacteria, which there are about a dozen species that exist. Most people become infected by eating undercooked or raw shellfish but it can cause a skin infection to the body’s soft tissue when an open wound is exposed.


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates the Vibrio bacteria causes 80,000 illnesses each year, 52,000 caused by eating contaminated food. The bacteria can be life-threatening and in some more dangerous strains like Vibrio Vulnificus, it can cause serious illness and require intensive care or if left untreated, limb amputation. Certain species can be found in saltwater or areas with both fresh and saltwater such as where oceans meet rivers.


So, heads up Florida! Of course, we are not telling you not to swim or enjoy some time at the beach, but make sure you don’t have a cut or any sort of open wound on you. You don’t want a nasty bacteria lurking around your body. Stay safe!

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Silke  Jasso About the author:
Silke Jasso is a bilingual editor, writer, producer, and journalist specialized in online media. Born in Laredo Texas, her previous work includes LareDOS Newspaper where she was an editor and writer and Entravision Communications where she was a Co-Anchor and Multi-Media Journalist for Fox39 News and Univision 27.
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