Cason Yeager dies after contracting a flesh-eating bacteria called Vibrio vulnificus. As previously reported by the Inquisitr, Yeager, 26, was swimming in the Weeki Wachee River when the bacteria entered his body through cuts on his legs. It was reported that Yeager was diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder many years ago, and this may have made him more susceptible to the bacteria.
This news has concerned beach-goers, many of whom are afraid that they could be the 11th case that Florida has seen this year (two of the 10 people infected have died).
According to Newsweek, Vibrio Vulnificus can get into the body through open wounds, or by a person consuming raw shellfish that have been infected.
“V. vulnificus is a bacterial microorganism that’s from the same family as the type that causes cholera. It typically found in seawater. It is halophilic, which means it requires salt to survive and grow. It also needs warmer temperatures to thrive, which is why infections, known as vibriosis, are more common in the summertime.”
Cason Yeager died earlier this month, and his mother, Karen Yeager Mercer, has since spoken out about what happened, trying to warn the public that this bacteria exists.
“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. He was so young and had so much left to do on this earth. No one should have to go through this. Ever. 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.”
According to the Orlando Sentinel, Florida’s health department hasn’t issued any kind of warning to swimmers. Karen Yeager Mercer has been trying to spread the word about what happened to her son (and what can happen to those who choose to swim with open wounds), and has been working to get her story heard.
If you think you’ve contracted Vibrio vulnificus (symptoms include “sore or upset stomach”), you should seek medical attention straight away. Most cases can be treated with common antibiotics (doxycycline or cephalosporin), but some severe cases may require amputation, according to Newsweek. The bacteria can be fatal if it enters the bloodstream.
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