As floridians attempt to recover from Hurricane Ian’s devastating – another issue is surfacing. The Lee County depart of health is now warning people who have open wounds or cuts to avoid floodwater or seawater, as flesh-eating bacteria cases are hitting record levels following Ian flooding, and can be found in the warm seawater.
According to Daily Mail, V. vulnificus is a highly deadly bacterial infection that kills one in five people it infects, usually by entering the bloodstream and causing sepsis.
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According to officials, Lee County has seen four deaths and 29 cases of the infection this year, with 26 cases occurring since the hurricane began in late September. In addition, the sewage spills resulting from Hurricane Ian promote the growth of bacteria, increasing the current risk of infection.
The bacteria can cause an infection after raw or undercooked seafood is consumed or when wounds and scratches are exposed to warm brackish water or seawater. The risk of infection is worse for people who have a weakened immune system.
Florida’s health department is advising people who are experiencing fever, skin lesions, chills, and a significant drop in blood pressure to seek medical attention.
Health officials also warn residents to use caution with drinking water, noting that flood waters that reach water treatment plans will mix chemicals, human waste, and debris making the water unsafe.
Hurricane Ian was the fifth most powerful hurricane to hit landfall. Florida Power & Light put together video footage showcasing the devastation and subsequent rebuilding.
Hurricane Ian made landfall tied as the fifth most powerful hurricane to hit the US. From all of us at FPL, we thank you. We know it's not easy to be without power. We appreciate your patience and kindness as we restore, rebuild and recover. pic.twitter.com/5zH2dzOA7i
— Florida Power & Light (@insideFPL) October 18, 2022