Well, this is definitely not what you want to come across…
According to a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there was a rise in severe “flesh-eating” infections across three East Coast states in 2023.
The surge in infections took place in New York, North Carolina, and Connecticut, following record-breaking heatwaves in the United States, as reported by the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
Above-average sea surface temperatures are also being cited as contributing factors.
Known as Vibrio vulnificus, the bacterium responsible for the “flesh-eating” infection is commonly found in undercooked and raw seafood. If ingested, it can lead to gastrointestinal infection, causing symptoms such as fever, watery diarrhea, vomiting, and potentially sepsis.
The bacteria, responsible for necrotizing fasciitis, can also enter the body through an open wound.
‘Although these cases reported during July–August cannot be solely attributed to the heat waves, the relationship between vibriosis incidence and environmental conditions favorable to Vibrio growth, namely elevated water surface temperatures and low salinity, is well-documented,” as per the CDC’s report.
“As coastal water temperatures increase, V. vulnificus infections are expected to become more common,” the CDC adds.
In 2023, a total of 11 individuals, aged between 37 and 84, were impacted by the infection, resulting in five fatalities—three of which were due to septic shock.
North Carolina reported the highest number of cases, with seven affected individuals, while New York and Connecticut each had two cases.
Stay safe, everyone!
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