Health Department warns of bacterial infection

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SARASOTA COUNTY, Fla    State Health Department Epidemiologist Michael Drennon says a person was killed and another was sickened by a bacterial infection in Sarasota County. Its full name is Vibrio vulnificus.

"Anyone is at risk of an infection, but severe outcomes are with individuals with compromised immune systems," Drennon said.

"They should not be entering the water with open wounds--and the other thing is they should not be eating uncooked shellfish," added Dr. Vilma Vega, an infectious disease specialist in Sarasota.

State health officials say there have been 12 cases statewide, 3 fatal, including the one in Sarasota County.

No word where it happened.

Another of those infected in the county has since recovered. Treatment includes antibiotics.

"He was fishing....in the gulf...the location, I don't know but it's important to note Vibrio can live in any warm salt water," Drennon added.

Word of the bacterial infection spread fast on Lido Beach. But one beach goer, Bonni London of Sarasota, did some research on the bacterial infection before drawing any conclusions.

"The people that became ill had a compromised immune system, so I thought that I would be okay," she said.