According to scientists, climate change is responsible for an increase in carnivorous bacterial infections in New Jersey and Delaware.
Researchers from Cooper University Health Care published a report on June 17 that pinpoints the increase in infections from Delaware Bay with the rise in water temperatures in a new article in the Annals of Internal Medicine.
The bacteria known as Vibrio Vulnificus cause diarrhea, vomiting, bloodstream infections and the destruction of skin and muscles (also known as necrotizing fasciitis or carnivorous bacteria.
The hospital in New Jersey had only one case between 2009 and 201
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"In our experience, physicians should be aware that [vibrio vulnificus] infections occur more frequently outside of traditional geographic areas," wrote Doctor in a press release.
The Bacteria get through skin incisions, insect bites and burns in the body, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. They can also be consumed by eating raw seafood.
Victims of vibrio vulnificus who develop a carnivorous infection notice a swelling of the skin, severe pain and a fever that passes into ulcers, black spots, blisters and pus that come out of the infected The infection spreads quickly. While antibiotics are used during treatment, amputations and other surgeries are often performed to stop it from spreading.
Vibrio vulnificus is native to the east It was located on the coast, but remained further south. It is best if the water temperature is above 55 degrees. In the past, it was found mainly in and south of Chesapeake Bay. Delaware Bay, which borders South New Jersey and Delaware, is usually too cool.
But with the rise in sea temperatures, that has changed.
One of five cases since 2017 at Cooper University Health Care led to the patient's death. Other patients had to undergo a skin graft, amputation and skin removal. All the victims were men, some of whom had become infected with the bacterium after eating crabs.
Doctors recommend eating only seafood that has been cooked properly. The CDC also advises against consuming raw oysters, noting that Vibrio bacteria tend to live in the same places as oysters, and that the natural filtering system of oysters can cause bacteria to accumulate in their tissues.
Vibrio vulnificus is found in brackish water (water, which is a mixture of salt and fresh water), as found in Delaware Bay.