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This is a scary subject but good to know…

The Florida Department of Health has officially issued that Florida beaches are “safe for visitors, BUT use caution”

According to Channel 10 News, the Department of Health in Orange County provided advice for beach-goers:

When visiting the state’s beaches and/or intracoastal waterways, residents and visitors should cover any open skin cuts they may have with a waterproof band-aid before interacting with the water. If not possible, individuals can enjoy the sun and sand but they may want to stay out of the water as a precaution against water-borne illnesses

Florida gets really hot and as those temps rise, so do reports of people coming in contact with flesh-eating bacteria that can develop into a life-threatening infection known as nectrotizing fasciitis.

The disease is rare, with only 700 to 1,200 cases each year in the United States according to the CDC.

The department in Bay County also provided a fact sheet for necrotizing fasciitis, saying it’s caused by more than one type of bacteria:

More about flesh-eating bacteria:

  • Several bacteria common in Florida’s environment can cause the condition necrotizing fasciitis, or flesh-eating bacteria.
  • People don’t “catch” flesh-eating bacteria. It’s a complication or a symptom of a bacterial infection.
  • Vibrio vulnificus is sometimes called flesh-eating bacteria. This bacteria naturally occurs in warm, salty waters like the Gulf of Mexico and nearby bays.
  • Necrotizing fasciitis and severe infections from vibrio vulnificus are rare. The infections can be treated with antibiotics and sometimes require surgery. The health department said a rapid diagnosis is the key for treatment and recovery.
  • The health department said the chances of developing necrotizing fasciitis is extremely low for those with healthy immune systems.