Swimmers cautioned about flesh-eating bacteria
A Terrebonne Parish man died and three others became ill from infections contracted while swimming off the Louisiana Gulf Coast this summer. In all four cases, Gannett Louisiana reports, the individuals' wounds were infected by Vibria vulnificus, a naturally occurring bacteria found in warm seawater. It is sometimes called flesh-eating bacteria. The cases have prompted the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals to warn swimmers over the holiday week—and throughout the hot weather—to be careful about swimming with open wounds or infections and in certain areas. "We know people are venturing into our state's waterways to cool off this summer, so we advise them to be careful and exercise health precautions," DHH Secretary Kathy Kliebert says in a news release. The state routinely tests beach water, and posts advisories on 25 Louisiana beaches if the bacteria levels become high. "We certainly do not mean to discourage people from enjoying water activities, but we want them to understand the potential risks involved," Kliebert says. "DHH works with other state and local partners to monitor and test beach water to inform residents of the water quality and we hope residents will heed posted beach advisories when they see them." The DHH beach monitoring locations include Cypremort Point, Fontainebleau, Grand Isle, Fourchon, Holly Beach, Rutherford, Martin, Long Beach, Little Florida, Gulf Breeze, Elmer's Island, Constance, North and South beaches. The full story can be found here.
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