Health Official Warns: Global Warming Making Flesh-Eating Bacteria More Common


By: - Climate DepotJuly 31, 2014 9:36 PM

http://washington.cbslocal.com/2014/07/30/flesh-eating-bacteria-a-danger-in-the-chesapeake/

The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene tells The Washington Post that Vibrio infections in Maryland hit a 10-year high of 57 last year.
Laurence Polsky, health officer at the Calvert County Health Department, tells The Post global warming could make instances of dangerous infections more common

Flesh-Eating Bacteria a Danger in the Chesapeake
July 30, 2014 9:17 PM
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Credit: Mark Wilson/Getty Images
Credit: Mark Wilson/Getty Images
Related Tags: bacterial infection, Chesapeake Bay, Vibrio, Vibriosis

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LANHAM, Md. (WNEW) — A type of bacterial infection that can lead to amputation or even death if not treated properly has been reported at least five times so far this summer in Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries, according to the Calvert County Health Department.
Vibriosis is caused by the Vibrio bacteria, which grows in coastal waters. When the weather gets warm, Vibrio multiply in the water and can cause life-threatening infections if they get into a cut or open wound.
People over the age of 60 and anyone with a weakened immune system are particularly vulnerable to serious infections, the Health Department says. Symptoms include redness, ulcers, swelling and a general breakdown of the skin. Vibrio infections spread quickly, and can be fatal once symptoms appear.
The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene tells The Washington Post that Vibrio infections in Maryland hit a 10-year high of 57 last year.
Laurence Polsky, health officer at the Calvert County Health Department, tells The Post global warming could make instances of dangerous infections more common.
“It is likely that over the next few decades, if global warming continues, the vibrio will start to multiply in the tidal waters of the bay earlier in the year and will persist later into the fall and possibly the winter,” he said.