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Just When You Thought it Was Safe to Go Back in the Water …
Unfortunately, those who aren’t aware of this virus don’t often recognize the signs of infection and don’t get treatment quickly. This infection leads quickly to diarrhea, vomiting, chills and severe abdominal pain. In more severe cases, this can lead to the blood infection. When the bacteria enter the wound, it causes skin breakdown, blistering lesions and the development of dead tissues. In severe cases, the affected limb must be amputated in order to save a person’s life.
Most people are not at high risk of catching this bug. For those with immune problems (such as those with HIV or AIDS) or those with liver problems, open cuts or wounds on the body, or for those who love raw shellfish, you are at a greater risk of gaining the attention of this bacteria. This can lead to inflammation of the skin and cause ulcers, requiring amputation or even death.
If you think you might have become infected, it is vital that you see a doctor immediately. This bacteria spreads very rapidly, usually in less than 24 hours. Most people begin to experience rather intense pain, scaling, discoloration and peeling of the skin. If you see the skin surrounding a wound suddenly turning black, you should seek medical help ASAP. This bacterium is fatal in 30 to 40 percent of those who contract it.
For your own safety, avoid warm salt water if you have any type of cut or open wound on your body (swimming pools are safe). Don’t consume raw shellfish or mussels and report any dramatic changes in a cut to your doctor right away, especially if you have been swimming in the ocean recently.