Rare flesh-eating bacteria kill three in New York and Connecticut | New York [wafact]

Three people in New York and Connecticut have died as a result of flesh-eating bacterial infections, prompting authorities to warn residents about the potential dangers of consuming raw shellfish or exposure to salt or brackish water.

One person from Suffolk county in New York, as well as two people in Connecticut have died from vibriosis, a rare bacterial infection caused by several species of bacteria, including Vibrio vulnificus, according to authorities.

In a statement released on Wednesday, New York’s governor, Kathy Hochul, said authorities were investigating the infections as the state’s health department urged healthcare providers to consider vibriosis when diagnosing wound infections or sepsis of unknown origin.

“While rare, the vibrio bacteria has unfortunately made it to this region and can be extraordinarily dangerous,” said Hochul.

“As we investigate further, it is critical that all New Yorkers stay vigilant and take responsible precautions to keep themselves and their loved ones safe, including protecting open wounds from seawater and for those with compromised immune systems, avoiding raw or undercooked shellfish which may carry the bacteria,” she added.

Vibrio vulnificus naturally occurs in saltwater coastal environments. Between May and October – during which the weather is warmer – Vibrio vulnificus can be found in higher concentrations. Infections can occur when an open wound comes into contact with raw or undercooked seafood, its juices, or with saltwater or brackish water, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In a statement to the Guardian on Thursday, a spokesperson from the Connecticut department of public health said that two individuals who contracted vibriosis and died were in the Connecticut waters of Long Island Sound, although in two separate locations. Both individuals had pre-existing open cuts or wounds or sustained new wounds during these activities which probably led to the infections, DPH said.

On 28 July, DPH announced that since 1 July, three cases of vibriosis had been reported, with the three patients between 60 and 80 years old, including the two that died. One patient reported consuming raw oysters from an out-of-state establishment.

Five cases of Vibrio vulnificus infections were reported in 2020 in Connecticut, and none in 2021 and 2022. The department warned that those who contract a Vibrio vulnificus infection can become seriously ill and may need limb amputation. About one in five people with this type of infection die, the department added.

Those at the greatest risk for Vibrio vulnificus-caused illness are the elderly and those with poor immune systems.

“The identification of these severe cases, including one fatality, due to V vulnificus is concerning,” the Connecticut DPH commissioner, Manisha Juthani, said.

“People should consider the potential risk of consuming raw oysters and exposure to salt or brackish water and take appropriate precautions. Particularly during the hottest months of the summer, bacteria are more likely to overgrow and contaminate raw shellfish. Given our current heatwave, this may be a time to exercise particular caution in what you consume,” Juthani added.

Authorities have urged residents to take precautionary measures by avoiding raw or undercooked oysters or other shellfish, staying out of saltwater or brackish water if one has a wound including from a recent surgery, piercing or tattoo, covering wounds with waterproof bandages if they come into contact with such waters, as well as washing them thoroughly with soap and water.

#Rare #flesheating #bacteria #kill #York #Connecticut #York

Leave a Comment