SARASOTA COUNTY, FL - A bacteria called Vibrio Vulnificus is being identified in waters in the sunshine state. Responsible for infecting at least 29 people resulting in 9 deaths.
The naturally occurring bacteria can get into people though open wounds or by eating shellfish.
Sarasota County health officials say there have been no reports in Sarasota County this year. However, there was one non-fatal case in 2012 and another in 2010.
Sarasota County Epidemiologist Michael Drennon says he would not be surprised at all if the bacteria is in local waters. He says the simplest way to avoid it is to cook all seafood and if you have even a cut to stay out of the water. If you do feel like something is wrong after eating or swimming he says to act fast. "If you experience those gastrointestinal or diarrhea like symptoms you should seek medical care immediately. The quicker antibiotics are administered the quicker they will recover."
For the latest on the story tune in to ABC 7 this evening.