Flesh-eating bacteria strikes again in Florida
On June 16th, 26 year-old Cason Yeager went for a swim in Florida in Hernando County and later died from contracting the flesh-eating bacteria Vibrio Vulnificus. This bacteria can be found worldwide, particularly in the warm coastal regions, but there have been reports in other parts of the world with non-warm waters.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), in 2013, the case count of the vibrio vulnificus bacteria was 104 in thirteen states, with six hospitalizations. No deaths were reported, but two years later, 26 year-old Yeager died from the flesh-eating bacteria.
According to the mother, the group her son was part of was out swimming two miles south of Pine Island Beach when the flesh-eating bacteria was contracted. Despite the death of her son, there has been as of yet no issued warning to locals about the flesh-eating bacteria from officials.
Locals responded negatively about the lack of warning to the public.
Local residents were outraged at the lack of a public warning about the bacteria. After all, it can inflict a range of severe to fatal injuries or infections to the person who contracts it. It is particularly lethal if the bacteria enters the bloodstream, as fifty percent of these cases are fatal.
Immunocompromised people are especially susceptible to fatally contracting the bacteria.
The lack of warning from officials is unsettling to say the least. Perhaps due to the fact that the vibrio vulnificus is rare, it was not previously reported when a case of someone contracting it emerged. Before 2007, according to the CDC, there was no national surveillance system for the flesh-eating bacteria. However, in that same year, the V. vulificus had a national surveillance system dedicated to it put in to place after some collaboration with the southern states and the CDC.
“It should happen immediately. They should tell the people what’s going on. They have the right to know,” said Janice Cobb, a Pine Island swimmer.
The only that can be done now is to have the officials notify people of the threat, especially to swimmers at Pine Island. This way it can minimize the chances of another person contracting the flesh-eating bacteria and not suffer fatal infections.