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Alabama releases warning over flesh-eating disease

Flesh-eating bacteria has been found in bodies of water throught Alabama. Cases of the disease have already been reported in the state’s Gulf Coast, as health officials have warned.

Vibrio can be contacted in brackish or salt water and can also affect people who eat contaminated seafood and those with open wounds exposed to seawater, according to CVS. The warning’s purpose is to educate “the general public about wounds and water, safe swimming, and safe consumption of seafood,” according to Dr. Karen Landers, assistant state health officer, Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH).

“At this time of year, the ADPH receives increased calls regarding skin infections related to wounds and water as well as the occasional, rare instance of necrotizing fasciitis [flesh-eating bacteria],” she told CBS. “Sometimes, people contract Vibrio in the coastal region and do not become ill until they return to their county or state of residence.”

People who get cuts in water should was the wound as soon as possible with water and soap and seek immediate medical attention, according to WebMD. Furthermore, people with open wounds and sores should stay out of the water, while those with weak immune systems suffering from cancer, diabetes, liver disease and chronic conditions should not eat raw or undercooked seafood.

In 2016, the ADPH has confirmed 30 cases of vibriosis in the state. Every year, 80,000 people in the U.S. Become sick with vibriosis and 100 die from the infection, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.



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