MOBILE COUNTY, Ala. (WKRG) — The Mobile County Health Department (MCHD) says someone swimming in the waters of Gulf Shores, Alabama has contracted Vibrio, a flesh-eating bacteria.
Vibrio parahaemolyticus occurs when bacteria enters the bloodstream through a break in the skin like a recent cut or scratch.
MCHD has not released any other information about the person infected or when the exposure took place.
The Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) advises beachgoers to not enter bodies of water if they have cuts. If injured while in the water, ADPH says to clean the wound at once to reduce the risk of infection.
More than 70 species of Vibrio exist. So far in 2021, there have been 16 cases of vibriosis in the state.
The CDC says each year in the United States 80,000 individuals become sick with Vibriosis, and 100 people die from their infection.
More from MCHD:
Vibrio bacteria naturally live in certain coastal waters and are present in higher concentrations
between May and October when water temperatures are warmer. However, the bacteria can be
present throughout the year in some areas. While Vibrio bacteria can enter the body through a
break in the skin, it can also come from consuming contaminated seafood.