Confirmed cases of flesh-eating bacteria found in Gulf of Mexico

CDC photo via Wikimedia Commons

MOBILE, AL (WKRG/WFLA) — Vibrio Vulnificus, also known as flesh-eating bacteria, has reached the Gulf of Mexico.

The Mobile County Health Department in Alabama tells WKRG they have two cases related to open wounds being exposed to the water around Mobile. A third case is from eating raw oysters in another state.

Vibrio usually shows up in the summer months. It’s a bacteria that is naturally occurring in warmer water. Those exposed to it will see symptoms within 24-72 hours. Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, fever, chills, blisters around the wounded areas, swelling and redness.

In extreme cases, the affected area needed to be amputated. There have also been deaths that occur from Vibrio.

However, a health official said 80 percent of the time, if people get to the doctor within 24 hours of infection, they should be fine. That official suggests treating the affected area immediately after contamination, including thoroughly washing the area with soap and water and disinfecting it with rubbing alcohol.

Experts warn everyone to be on high alert if they plan to get in the water this summer and make sure that all shellfish and oysters are cooked properly. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s