Summer months mean it is time for that annual talk.
About Vibrio vulnificus, the naturally-occurring bacteria that each year presents itself in warm, salty or brackish water in the area or what many click-bait seeking media outlets characterize as “flesh-eating” bacteria.
The Florida Department of Health in Gulf County has several simple messages: there are no cases of illness or injury from vibrio have been reported in the county.
Further, the department noted that such infections from Vibrio are rare, but exposures rise more commonly May through October, when the water is the warmest.
And, in the interest of visitors who may not know much about Vibrio and as a reminder to those who do, a few facts are in order.
Take proper precautions. Those with open wounds or weakened immune systems are at increased riskm but Vibrio Vulnificus does not pose a risk to a normally healthy person who does not have open wounds or cuts.
The FDOH encourages good proper wound care as the best way to prevent a bacterial skin infection. Keep open wounds covered with clean, dry bandages until healed and don't delay first aid of even minor, non-infected wounds like blisters, scrapes or any break in the skin.
It is also important for consumers to remember that raw shellfish may also be contaminated with Vibrio Vulnificus; folks should thoroughly cook oysters and other shellfish to avoid getting sick.
You can find information on the number of cases and additional background info here: http://www.floridahealth.gov/diseases-and-conditions/vibrio-infections/vibrio-vulnificus/index.html?utm_source=flhealthIndex
The FDOH also has a Public Beach Water Program that samples beach water on a weekly basis.
To link to information and a listing of each county with lab results.