A Florida man is in a Jacksonville hospital fighting a dangerous bacterial infection called vibrio vulnificus. He is the 27th suspected victim of this coastal bacteria in Florida.
State health officials have confirmed 26 cases of vibrio vulnificus infections this year. Nine have been fatal, including a Flagler County man who died of the infection on Monday. Henry "Butch" Konietzky, 59, died after he was infected while crabbing in the Halifax River in Volusia County according to the Daytona Beach News-Journal is reporting.
An infectious-disease team is supervising the intense treatment for Clarke at Baptist Medical Center Jacksonville.
"This bacteria is so fast moving that it is imperative people know to get to a hospital immediately," Karstetter said.
Volusia County has had two nonfatal cases, one of which was a man who ate raw oysters in Louisiana and became ill when he returned home.
Vibrio vulnificus is from the same family of bacteria that causes cholera. It needs the salt from seawater to survive according to the CDC.
Vibrio vulnificus is found in salt water and contaminated raw seafood, especially oysters, but chances of infection are higher for people with an impaired immune systems.
It can cause severe, life-threatening illness with fever, chills, decreased blood pressure and blistering lesions on the skin.
Blood infections involving vibrio vulnificus are fatal 50 percent of the time, according to the CDC.