Flesh-eating bacteria alive and well in Mobile Bay

Baldwin County

FAIRHOPE, Ala. (WKRG) — Calm waters and overcast skies make for good fishing weather, but a suspected case of the flesh-eating disease caused by a bacteria found in Mobile Bay waters is once again raising concerns and awareness about vibrio vulnificus.

Fisherman Laytin Durgin told WKRG News 5 on Monday he had a reason for staying out of the water on Fairhope Pier.

“One of my cousins got it not long ago from cast netting,” Durgin said. “He had an open wound.”

Durgin was talking about vibrio vulnificus, a naturally occurring bacteria that thrives in brackish waters of Mobile Bay and the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

“You don’t want to get in the water with a scrape or any kind of cut or opening in your skin,” said Toby Nyles who was also fishing off Fairhope Pier Monday. He is well aware of what’s in the water.

“You got to take precautions. I’m not a big eater of these fish. I tried them a couple of times but you got thirty-five dams and five rivers coming in here, a lot of stuff upriver from four states coming in here.”

The bacteria is most active when the water is the warmest, May through October. It can also be contracted through undercooked or raw seafood.

If you suspect infection health officials say get medical treatment immediately. Early treatment can literally mean the difference between life and death.

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