Rare "flesh-eating" bacteria invades Sarasota County

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SARASOTA, Fla. -- It's called Vibrio vulnificus, but it's better known as "flesh-eating bacteria." The microbes are known to live in warm, salty water, and can sicken individuals swim with open sores in tainted water, or people who consume the bacteria when eating shellfish, especially raw oysters.

Now health officials are reporting that multiple cases of infection related to Vibrio vulnificus have occurred in Sarasota County recently. WTSP-10 in Tampa has confirmed that two people contracted the flesh-eating disease in the last month, and that one of the victims has died. The disease is fatal in about 50 percent of cases, and takes a greater toll on those with an already compromised immune system.

ABC 7 Health reporter Alix Redmonde is working up a full report on Vibrio vulnificus, including tips on how you can protect yourself. Catch her report today during the 5 p.m. newshour.