Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Flesh Eating / Deadl Bacteria in Gulf of Mexico and Backwaters of Naples Bay what you need to know now

Another recent article on Flesh eating Bacteria

Today 7/30/2014 another victim of this flesh eating bacteria.
HEALTH ALERT: Sarasota County confirmed Tuesday that one person has died after coming in contact with a “flesh-eating bacteria” that's found in our beach's warm waters. It's called vibrio vulnificus. Here's what you need to know about it:

Here is an earlier blog post. 

In 2013 ,  31 people across Florida have been infected by the severe strain of vibrio vulnificus and 10 have died due to such infection.   This strain of bacteria is found mainly in salt water.  The  Family Foot and Leg Center, PA  in 20013 had 2 cases treated that were reported to the CDC.     Although the warning is for immunocompromised patients such as diabetic, cancer patients, etc., the two patients at FFLC, were young, healthy patients and contracted the bacteria while fishing in the  mangroves.      

The most recent patient was a healthy, athletic 19 year old male who was snook fishing and happened to brush his foot along some oyster shells.    He immediately reported to the office due to his mother being an RN and promptly received cultures, incision and drainage of the infected tissue.    Cultures revealed Vibrio Vulnificus and the patient was immediately sent to an infectious disease specialist for intravenous antibiotics.   Luckily, the initial care in the office saved this young man's foot and possibly his life (25% mortality rate).  If the bacteria would have progressed to his blood the outcome would have been different (50% mortality rate). 

In a review of our charts, the other patient is a 30 something year old female that scraped her foot on barnacles while getting on a boat.  Her fiancee didn't think much of it but she still presented to the office as she is an established patient of FFLC, and our slogan to our patients, "When in doubt give us a shout."

Symptoms: redness may look like a spider bite,  dizziness, nausea, warmth, blistering wound usually when these are present it could be late.   See a podiatrist for any puncture wounds found of the foot / ankle / lower leg immediately to avoid a life threatening infections.   

Aggressive local care with surgical flushing, cleaning of damaged /  infected tissue with combination of antibiotics must be initiated to avoid limb threatening or life threatening infections.   No exact recommendations have been made for antibiosis regimen as of this writing, but our patients were initially started on Cipro and a Tetracycline as recommended by researchers in Taiwan.    Our patients had the added advantage of a through incision and drainage in the office under local anesthesia which significantly helped their chances.    

WHAT YOU  NEED TO KNOW:   If you have sustained a cut on your foot/ leg /arm/ anywhere while on the beach or brackish water, please see a doctor immediately for a thorough checkup and possible antibiotics.   Cultures, cotton swabbing the wound and sending it to a lab, will show this bacteria. 

25% death rate with this infection
50% death rate when it is in the blood, sepsis

This is a serious problem and do not walk on the beach or shallows in the backwater without  water shoes, beach shoes, etc.  See below for suggestions

Most recent story 1/7/2015
Man Dies after fishing trip  

Any foot / leg injuries while on the beach or backwaters should be assessed by a podiatrist ASAP.

Dr. Kevin Lam is an avid fisherman of the backwaters and deep sea.    Rather share fishing stories than life saving stories.

661 Goodlette Road, suite 103
Naples, FL 34102

Call: 239 430 3668
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