Flesh-eating bacteria affects Broward county beaches

Deerfield Beach might not be the best beach choice this summer as a potentially deadly bacteria affects Broward county.


Mohammed F. Emran

A long exposure photo of Palmetto Park Beach, about two miles away from campus.

Emily Creighton, Features Editor

As summer continues, Florida beachgoers are not the only ones infesting the water; state health officials have warned residents of a rare flesh-eating bacteria found in seawater.

So far this year, the Vibrio vulnificus bacterium has infected seven and killed two people, according to the Florida Department of Health. These cases have come from several counties including Broward, reports Orlando Weekly.

Beaches including Deerfield and Fort Lauderdale – popular among Florida Atlantic students because of their proximity to campus – may be affected.

In 2013, there were 32 reported cases, seven of which were fatal. Due to the warm water temperature, the bacteria tend to be more present during the summer months.

Though rare, beachgoers should still be cautious when eating raw shellfish or entering the water with open wounds or scrapes. The bacterium can sometimes cause the breakdown of skin, as well as ulcers.

Those with weakened immune systems should take caution, as the infection can lead to  a potentially fatal illness. If a Vibrio vulnificus infection is suspected, immediate medical attention should be taken and the proper antibiotics administered.

For more information, visit the Centers for Disease Control’s website.