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Despite Headlines, Flesh-Eating Bacteria Not On Rise In Florida

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Despite the fact that a flesh-eating bacteria has been making headlines recently, officials with the Duval County Health Department say the number of infections in Florida is about the same as last year.

Karen Elliot, Surveillance Epidemiologist for DCHD,  says while Flagler and Volusia Counties have posted warnings about the bacteria Vibro Vulnificus the number of cases in Florida have remained steady over the past several years.

"Florida does report cases every year and so we expect it to occur during the summer months and the Centers for Disease Control even states that infections are quite seasonal because of the warm water over 85 percent due occur between May and October," She said.  

To keep from contracting Vibrio Vulnificus, Elliot says to avoid raw oysters and other shellfish. You should also avoid entering warm seawater if you have any cuts or broken skin.

There have been 27 cases of the disease, including nine deaths, in Florida.

Kevin Meerschaert has left WJCT for new pursuits. He was the producer of First Coast Connect until October of 2018.