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Speaking of Jeb Bush, according to The Tampa Tribune, Vibrio vulnificus, a microscopic bacteria strain, has accounted for 13 reported infections around the state this year, including seven that turned deadly, Florida health officials report. The bacteria thrives from May to October, when waters are warmest.
“To be clear, vibrio vulnificus is not a ‘flesh-eating bacteria,’” said Mara Burger, spokeswoman for Florida’s Department of Health. “Vibrio vulnificus infections, if left untreated, can lead to a serious complication where the body’s affected soft tissues are damaged.”
While vibrio most often is associated with swimmers who enter salty, warm water with open wounds, staying out of the water does not ensure safety. Among the 13 Floridians infected, five contracted the bacteria through consumption of raw or cooked shellfish; one case involving cooked mussels acquired in Virginia.
Among the seven Floridians who have died, two were Hillsborough County residents. One person died after swimming in Mississippi waters with an open wound. The other, Fruitland Park resident Carson Yeager, 26, died on June 16, two days after a family outing during which he went swimming in waist-deep water just south of Pine Island, in Hernando County.