The consumption of raw oysters is being discouraged in the New York area, thanks to the appearance of Vibrio vulnificus, aka, the flesh-eating bacteria. Although Vibriosis is (thankfully) very rare, it can also be very serious, even deadly. The exceptionally warm ocean temperatures this summer have allowed the bacteria to spread northward, where there has been one confirmed death from raw oysters and two others from skin infections. Is there anything to worry about here?
What turns a relatively minor skin injury into the life-threatening horror show? That would be necrotizing soft tissue infection, otherwise known as a flesh-eating bacterial infection. New research suggests that a lack of antibodies against Streptococcus bacteria is a likely risk factor.
The quick and frightening death of a man who contracted a kind of flesh-eating bacterium after cleaning crab pots has made national headlines. Understandably, the public wants to know what causes such a terrifying illness and what, if anything, can be done to prevent it. The media is not helping, but here's some insight.