Cases of the bacterium Vibrio vulnificus, commonly known as the “flesh-eating bacterium”, have been registered in the United States, keeping health authorities and the public on alert after this microorganism killed eight people in recent weeks due to infection.
The latest event was presented this Tuesday as the media chronicled the case of model Jennifer Barlow, who asserts that during a trip to the Bahamas Islands she contracted the infection that completely changed her life when she lost one of her legs , but that, luckily he had the opportunity to tell about it again.
“It was so swollen it was at least three times the size of my left knee. It was really scary,” Barlow, who served as a geospatial scientist in the US Army, told Today.
He was eventually diagnosed with necrotizing fasciitis, a rare bacterial infection that can cause a “flesh-eating disease” that health experts say kills up to 20% of patients, even with treatment.
The infection penetrates deep under the skin to the muscle lining and spreads there very quickly, destroying the tissue.
The only solution was aggressive, radical surgery to remove as much dead flesh as possible. As a result, doctors had to repeatedly remove soft tissue from Barlow’s thigh, the skin, and the underlying tissue.
Attentive health authorities
Like her, multiple infection and death situations have been reported among them in recent weeks, with five victims in Florida and three in Connecticut and New York states.
Responsible for a condition called necrotizing fasciitis, this bacterium has caused panic due to its ability to spread rapidly throughout the body, destroying muscle tissue and, in some cases, causing death within days.
Experts warn that early diagnosis and rapid intervention are crucial to increase the chances of surviving this infection.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is closely monitoring the situation and is offering guidance to healthcare professionals and the public on how to prevent and control this bacterial threat.
On Aug. 22, Florida expressed concern about the increase in cases due to the health crisis the state is facing, caused by the Vibrio vulnificus bacterium.
This type of infection is more common in people with underlying diseases that affect the immune system, such as diabetes mellitus and cancer, among others. Warning signs include large blisters, high fever, and extreme confusion. Once detected, it can easily be treated with antibiotics.