Cason Yeager Dies: Flesh-Eating Bacteria Kills Florida Man, 26

Cason Yeager dies after contracting a flesh-eating bacteria while swimming off the coast of Florida.

According to SportAct, Yeager, 26, was just south of Pine Island Beach at the Weeki Wachee River when his family says he contracted Vibrio Vulnificus. Yeager had an auto-immune disorder when he was younger which may have made him more susceptible to the bacteria. He died just two days later.

“We never would have imagined in a million years that this would happen. It’s my worst nightmare and I can’t wake up from it,” said Karen Yeager Mercer, Cason’s mother. “He was so young and had so much left to do on this earth. No one should have to go through this. Ever,” she added.

Cason Yeager died almost two weeks ago. According to the Orlando Sentinel, his death is the fourth in Florida this year. More than 50 swimmers have died from the bacteria since 2010.

According to Florida Department of Health spokeswoman Mara Burger, Vibrio Vulnificus thrives in warmer waters. It enters a person’s body through an open wound.

“It could be anything from a scrape, cut, abrasion or something larger. It just depends. Our best advice is to practice good wound care because wounds don’t mix well with water, so try not to swim if you are injured.”

Although this bacteria is found in saltwater, those who swim in freshwater aren’t completely safe. As the Orlando Sentinel points out, Naegleria fowleri is a freshwater brain-eating amoeba that has killed over 30 people since the 1960s.

Before Cason Yeager died, he worked as a landscaper and had “a few scrapes on his legs.” Of course, most people wouldn’t think anything of going swimming with a few cuts — saltwater is supposed to help that stuff heal, right?

“I don’t want people to avoid the water, but I just want them to know there’s a risk involved. I didn’t know this could happen, so others probably don’t know either. It’s not only what killed Cason, either. People need to be more informed about what is out there,” Karen Yeager Mercer said.

As previously reported by the Inquisitr, health officials will not issue a warning to swimmers despite Cason’s death. Karen Yeager Mercer has been hoping that other people will hear about her son’s tragedy and be very careful when entering the water. Many feel as though beach-goers should be made aware of these potential dangers, and should be cautioned.

Do you think the Florida Department of Health should notify the public?

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