Two Texas men have recently been diagnosed with contracting a flesh eating bacteria, a life- and limb-threatening disease that enters your body through contaminated water. While many citizens are concerned about the bacteria, which is known as Vibrio, Texas officials say that it is likely safe to go into the water despite the recent diagnoses.
The bacteria enters your body through open wounds. It can also be contracted through eating raw or contaminated seafood.
Health officials say that statistically, it is very rare for someone to develop a serious infection after being exposed to the Vibrio vulnificus bacteria. Most people who do develop an infection already had a weak immune system due to a preexisting condition. And despite the recent cases making national headlines, there are actually fewer cases of people becoming infected with Vibrio than in recent years.
It is warned that if you have an open wound or cuts on your skin that you should avoid swimming in untreated water (i.e. a lake, the ocean, etc.). You should also avoid the water if you have a compromised immune system due to a health condition, as this can up your chance of developing a serious infection in response to the Vibrio bacteria.
Those who are particularly worried about Vibrio can also check for any advisors or bacteria levels in the water before they go to the beach on the Texas Beach Watch website.
Doctors state that those who go into the water and cut themselves in the water should get out immediately and dry off and clean the wound. You should see a doctor as soon as possible if you begin to notice swelling or redness in and around the wound, as this can be a tell-tale sign of Vibrio.
While the recent cases certainly might have people worked up about contracting Vibrio, it is unlikely that many more people will contract a serious infection from the virus. As long as you and your family are smart about going into the water, you should find yourself relatively safe from infection or Vibrio.