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Concerns over flesh-eating bacteria at the beach

What you should know before you hit the waves
Posted at 8:46 PM, Jul 02, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-02 20:46:17-04

FORT MYERS BEACH, Fla -- This holiday weekend, you have enough to worry about, you don't need fears of flesh-eating bacteria ruining your day at the beach. Although with the death of a 77-year-old woman near Tampa, you do need to take some precautions.

Flesh-eating bacteria killed 77-year old Lynn Flemming earlier this week. She went into the Gulf after getting a cut on her leg. A day after her cut, Lynn Fleming became ill and eventually went to a hospital. She was diagnosed with Necrotizing Fasciitis, the infection commonly known as the flesh-eating bacteria. It’s something 19-year old Ryan Hersi and his friends were thinking about because they have scratches of their own.

"Unfortunately me hearing like that situation with that elderly lady that’s unfortunate to hear," Hersi said

"Since I found out about that stuff this morning, I’m a little hesitant to go in," said Justin Capp.

According to the CDC, Necrotizing Fasciitis is rare, but people with compromised immune systems have a harder time fighting the infection. One in three people die from the disease if contracted.

"If it gets really red and inflamed can happen over a very short amount of time, any discoloration, any puss, anything like that, you have to seek medical attention immediately," said Dr. Alfred Algeguas, with the Florida Poison Center.

You should know that warmer waters help breed this dangerous bacteria. if you get a cut in the water, health experts say to wash with soap and water immediately.