Be warned: There's flesh-eating bacteria in the ocean

Jul 30, 2014 at 7:10 p.m. ET
Image: Ruth Peterkin/iStock/360/Getty Images

In addition to the recent recall of peaches — and during peak season, what a bummer — now there is a flesh-eating bacteria in the ocean that's busting up summer.

According to ABC Action News, someone in Sarasota County has died from a flesh-eating bacteria in the ocean. It has already claimed the lives of several people in Florida. (You know, not to ruin your summer plans or anything.)

How do you get vibrio vulnificus?

Vibrio vulnificus, a cousin of the bacterium that causes cholera, thrives in warm saltwater. If you have an open wound and go into the ocean, you might be exposed to it.

The ocean isn't the only culprit for contracting vibrio vulnificus. You can get it while noshing on raw seafood such as oysters.

So far, the Florida Department of Health says 32 people have contracted the bacteria and 10 have died from it. In 2013, 41 people were infected and 11 died.

Florida isn't the only state with waters affected: It's been found in Alabama, Louisiana, Texas and Mississippi.

Anyone who has a compromised immune system or open cut should stay out of the water. And if you can't get enough of the salt water, rinse off before heading home, officials from the Florida Department of Health say.

"It's definitely something to take serious, but there are a number of other bacteria that you could run into," said Tim O'Connor, a spokesperson for the department.

Maybe it's a good week to stick to the pool. And watermelon.

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