(HealthDay)—Florida health officials are cautioning visitors to the state's beaches about the threat of Vibrio vulnificus bacteria in warm seawater this summer.
Vibrio vulnificus propagates in warm water and if swallowed can cause abdominal pain, vomiting, and diarrhea, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. If it enters an open wound, "skin breakdown and ulceration" can also occur, the CDC said.
According to ABC News, 11 Floridians have already been infected with Vibrio vulnificus in 2014 and two have died. Last year, 41 people contracted the illness in the state and 11 died. Similar outbreaks have occurred in Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas, the CDC said.
The agency stressed that most people who contract Vibrio vulnificus will recover after taking antibiotics, but in cases where the illness becomes "flesh-eating," surgery and even amputation may be needed.
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Health Highlights: July 31, 2014