MOBILE, Ala. - Three cases of a deadly flesh-eating bacteria have been confirmed in Mobile County, Alabama, at least one of them contracted in the Gulf of Mexico.
The Mobile County Health Department says two people contracted the Vibrio bacteria in June and were in the water with exposed wounds. One case occurred in the Mississippi Sound, the other on Dauphin Island along the Gulf of Mexido. The third case involved a resident who ate raw oysters outside of Alabama, the health department said.
Vibrio bacteria live in coastal waters, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says. They are present in higher concentrations during the months of May through October when the waters are warmer.
About a quarter of the people who contract the Vibrio vulnificus bacteria die, while others may become seriously ill or need limb amputation.
The CDC says Vibrio bacteria can cause bloodstream infections that cause fever, chills, dangerously low blood pressure, blistering skin lesions, and sometimes death.
The CDC says people with open wounds should avoid contact with warm brackish or salt water, or wrap it with a waterproof bandage if there's any chance it could come in contact with brackish or salt water, or raw seafood.
Click for more information on the Vibrio bacteria: https://www.cdc.gov/vibrio/faq.html