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Escambia County reports one confirmed case of flesh eating bacteria

Updated: Wednesday, October 9 2013, 09:13 AM CDT
ESCAMBIA COUNTY   --  Escambia County - There is now one confirmed case of the flesh eating bacteria Vibrio Vulnificus in Escambia County.
   
Since the end of September 27 cases have been reported in Florida resulting in 9 deaths.
   
One man in Santa Rosa County says this past weekend his friend died from the bacteria.
They were fishing near Shore Line Park in Santa Rosa County .

That's where the man says his friend came in contact with the flesh eating bacteria.
The Santa Rosa County Health Department says so far they've had no confirmed cases.
   
Last Monday Allen Little and Duane Reynolds decided to come out here to the Sound and fish what happened later was unexpected.
Both Alan and Duane had open wounds on their legs. Making them susceptible to the flesh eating bacteria Vibrio Vulnificus.
 "By Wednesday afternoon after the fishing trip his leg had swollen up and he had caught a water born bacteria that I understand is in the water all the time and by Friday night it had gotten into his blood stream and he had passed away," said Alan Little.

The bacteria has been around for years and mainly contracted when raw oysters are consumed.

But recently people with open wounds who go into warm, brackish, or salt water are now contracting the bacteria.
Doctors say do not eat raw oyster and avoid the water if you have any wounds. 
   
"Do not go into the water if you have an open wound or if you get a wound while in the water you need to come out of the water and have it cleaned appropriately," said Dr. John Lanza. 
   
If exposed the bacteria could find it's way into your blood stream. If the infection is caught on time antibiotics can treat it.

But if you have a compromised immune system it can be deadly.
 "Typically what happens is it goes to the kidneys and you have kidney failure, liver failure, organ failure and you can die from that," said Dr. Lanza.

Alan immediately sought medical attention and is on antibiotics and says he's  bacteria free.
He says he wont be fishing anymore this year and hopes others will be aware of what could be lurking in our waters.
   
"If you've got any cuts or scratches or your immune system is depleted for any reason you don't need to be in the water," said Little.
   
Why the bacteria is showing up frequently now?
Dr. Lanza says he can't answer that.

If you believe you've might have come in contact with this bacteria you're asked to contact your physician.

The Escambia County  Health Department says they are investigating the confirmed case.

Escambia County reports one confirmed case of flesh eating bacteria


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