Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?


CDC Issues Warning to Be on Alert for Flesh-Eating Bacteria

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently issued a national health alert warning doctors and health care workers to be aware of infections from a flesh-eating bacterium, Vibrio vulnificus, that has been found in multiple states this year.

The agency noted that an estimated 80,000 Vibrio bacteria illnesses each year are reported in the United States, including Vibrio parahaemolyticus and Vibrio alginolyticus. However, the deadliest one appears to be Vibrio vulnificus, which officials say can sometimes cause death within one or two days, although the CDC noted that only about 150 to 200 such infections are reported to the federal agency every year.

“People who are at increased risk for V. vulnificus infection should exercise caution when engaging in coastal water activities,” the CDC stated on Sept. 1. “Prompt treatment is crucial to reduce mortality from severe V. vulnificus infection.”

Although such infections tend to be reported in the Gulf Coast, the CDC noted that infections have risen about eightfold between 1988 and 2018 in the eastern United States.

Vibrio bacteria generally live in salt water or brackish coastal waters. People can become infected after exposure to the organism, such as by eating undercooked or raw shellfish or through an open wound, a cut, or a bite that has been in contact with infected water or shellfish.

“V. vulnificus wound infections have a short incubation period and are characterized by necrotizing skin and soft tissue infection,” the CDC also stated. In some cases, people may also develop bleeding blisters. If left untreated, infection can spread throughout the body and cause blood poisoning.

Many people who contract an infection “require intensive care or limb amputations,” and the possibility of necrotizing fasciitis is why the bacterium is called “flesh-eating.”

The CDC recommends that people stay away from brackish or salt water if they have an open wound and should leave the water immediately if they receive a cut while swimming. It noted that wounds should be treated with a waterproof bandage and washed with soap and clean water.

‘Initiate Treatment Promptly’

It also stated that people who believe they have an infection after swimming should get treatment quickly, as they will have a better chance of survival. The bacteria also have developed some resistance to antibiotics, while 50 percent of infections don’t respond to treatment, other officials have said.

“Initiate treatment promptly. Early antibiotic therapy and early surgical intervention improve survival,” the CDC stated. “Do not wait for consultation with an infectious disease specialist or laboratory confirmation of V. vulnificus infection to initiate treatment.”

The CDC advised doctors and health care workers to “consider V. vulnificus as a possible cause of infection in wounds that were exposed to coastal waters, especially in patients at higher risk for Vibrio infection, including those with underlying health conditions such as liver disease (including alcohol-associated liver cirrhosis), diabetes, and immunocompromising conditions.”

“Ask the patient or family about relevant exposures, including whether they entered coastal water with an open wound; acquired a scratch or a cut while in coastal water; or had open-wound contact with raw or undercooked seafood,” it advised.

The federal health agency also warned against eating raw oysters and other shellfish, saying that they should be thoroughly cooked before consumption. People should also wash their hands with soap and water after handling them.

This summer, health officials in New York, Connecticut, and North Carolina reported multiple fatal or severe V. vulnificus infections, while most infections this year have occurred in Florida. At least five have died in those three states, officials have said.

  • Slim says:

    Think the CDC may have released some into the water systems? I trust the CDC as much as I trust a Pit Viper.

  • Crystal Griffith RN says:

    The majority of deaths from Vibrio is due to overwhelming sepsis from eating shellfish.
    People who get a wound infection rarely get necrotizing fasciitis. That is generally caused by a bacteria from the Streptococcal family. A wound infection from Vibrio can progress to sepsis as well. Doesn’t really matter how it gets into the body because it simply overwhelms the immune system.

  • Mary says:

    Give me a F’N break!

  • Linda Williams says:




    In April 2024, after being locked up since August 2023, J6er Julio Baquero found out that he had Stage 4 cancer and, fortunately, was...


    Nvidia has been on an impressive run the previous year, extending well into 2024 and showing no sign of waning, bringing hefty profits to...


    CBS News was forced to remove a video from social media platform X on Wednesday after arguing it was an example of a “cheap...


    A leftist MSNBC contributor has been raked over the coals for claiming Donald Trump is really the presidential candidate who needs to be helped...