The Vibrio bacteria’s most dangerous subtype killed a person in just four days as the man contracted the flesh-eating bacteria after walking with an unprotected cut through brackish waters.
The case took place this September in Ocean City, Maryland, and affected a 46 years old man. According to reports, the man became infected with the Vibrio vulnificus, a dangerous and only flesh eating sub-type of the Vibrio bacteria, whilst he was walking through the waters of the Assawoman Bay.
The bacteria is thought to have entered the man’s bloodstream as he wadding through the still waters of the bay with an open, small, and unprotected leg cut. The man soon after fell ill and was rushed to the local hospital where doctors had to remove rotting and infected skin from the affected leg.
As the bacteria had already entered his bloodstream, his conditioned worsened still even after the surgeons of the trauma Baltimore hospital where he was transferred proceeded to amputate his leg.
With the lesions continuing their spread even after the surgery and doctors were unable to stop it, the man died in just four days after getting infected.
The terrifying death was one of the worst cases of Vibrio vulnificus the doctors have seen, although doctors declare to have seen a worse case just last July.
The case will probably start being used as a warning as, although not very common, the number of U.S. Vibrio infestations reach 80,000 every year and are on the rise.
As the recent cases led to a review of the scientific literature concerned in the matter, it was revealed that the numbers have been increasingly rising for these past four decades.
The cause of this increase was attributed to two factors. The first is global warming, as the warmer waters could account for the vibrio bacteria’s boom in their still, warm water natural habitat.
The second cause is the raw oyster and seafood recent trend that seems to have caused 52,000 of the 80,000 registered Vibrio infections.
As the Vibrio can infect the shellfish, the contaminated food infection reveals symptoms somewhat similar to cholera, which is caused by a bacteria of the same family.
The symptoms usually include cramping, fever, and diarrhea. These usually pass in three days, as the vulnificus is the only deadly, flesh-eating subtype. However, even common subcases of the bacteria can lead to deadly outcomes if the virus gets into the bloodstream or if the patient has a weak immune system.
The CDC and the concerned authorities recommend people to stop eating raw shellfish or oysters, especially the ones found in still water areas, and also have advised people to protect and thoroughly clean any and all exposed cuts and wounds from contact with brackish waters.
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