Florida health officials give warning on deadly bacteria

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Health officials in Florida are warning beach-goers and lovers of seafood to be cautious of a deadly flesh-eating bacteria as cases of it spread across the state. Officials say nine people in Florida have died so far in 2013 from the vibrio vulnificus bacteria.

“It is kind of a warm water thing, and we've had some warm water,” says Dr. Todd Husty, medical director of the Seminole County EMS. “But we didn't have this last year or the year before – not nearly as many (cases).”

Officials warn that coming into contact with the bacteria runs an individual the risk of becoming sick, and that half the cases will end up being fatal. And while the bacteria occurs naturally in seawater, health officials say it can get into a person's bloodstream through an open wound or from consuming raw shellfish. For better protection, they advise anyone with an open wound to avoid contact with the water, and for everyone to cook shellfish properly.

For more information about Vibrio Vulnificus, please visit the state health department's web site: http://goo.gl/ZLbOlk