Flesh Eating Disease Kills Virginia Resident

Yeexin RichelleShutterstock

It is reported by Patch that 23 people in the state of Virginia have contracted a flesh-eating bacteria called Vibrio so far this year. All but one of them have survived.

The Washington Post has cited that Virginia Department of Health officials are withholding details about the person’s name or where exactly the incident happened, although it is known that the death involved Vibrio and occurred in the Hampton Roads area.

This flesh-eating bacteria is actually naturally occurring. According to scientists, Vibrio can be found in brackish or warm saltwater. Vibrio can also be found in raw or under-cooked seafood. According to the Center of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it is estimated that around 80,000 illnesses attributed to Vibrio happen every year.

At least 100 deaths also occur yearly in the United States due to contracting Vibriosis, says the CDC. Typically these contractions are caused by either exposing wounds to saltwater, or consuming raw and under-cooked fish and other sea foods.

“Most infections occur from May through October when water temperatures are warmer. Vibrio vulnificus, in particular, can cause severe or fatal infections. Individuals with pre-existing medical conditions such as liver disease, diabetes, HIV, cancer, and certain stomach disorders are at greater risk of becoming sick with vibriosis and experiencing severe complications.”

Oyster cultivator Don Merry, left, holds his boat steady as Jason Costa, an employee of Merry's Oysters, carries an oyster cage back to their boat on Duxbury Bay in Duxbury, Mass., Thursday, Sept. 12, 2013. Oyster harvesting on Massachusetts' South Shore was closed due to bacterial contamination from the Vibrio parahaemolyticus bacteria.Featured image credit: Stephan SavoiaAP Images

No further details on the death of this particular Virginia resident have been released at this time. However, earlier this month there were at least two other instances of individuals contracting this flesh-eating disease. One Florida man came down with Vibriosis after eating raw oysters at a Sarasota restaurant, as was reported here at the Inquisitr. That gentleman also passed away, apparently from gastrointestinal issues.

A man from New Jersey also had a tragic incident related to Vibrio this month. While crabbing at Matt’s Landing on the Maurice River, Angel Perez was exposed to the flesh-eating bacteria. This resulted in the loss of his fingers and toes, leaving him in critical condition, as reported by a separate news release at the Inquisitr.

The Virginia Department of Health website states that there are “roughly a dozen Vibrio species known to cause a bacterial disease called vibriosis in humans, with the most common in the United States being V. parahaemolyticus, V. vulnificus, and V. alginolyticus.”

With the numerous recent reports rolling in around Vibro illnesses and deaths, taking care to avoid warm saltwater, especially with open woulds and scabs, is at the top of the Virginia Department of Health’s suggestions for avoiding contraction, as is eating seafood only if fully-cooked.