Health

5 People Hospitalized After Contracting Rare Flesh-Eating Bacteria

(TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP via Getty Images)

Font Size:

Connecticut warned residents about a rare flesh-eating bacteria found in the Long Island Sound after numerous cases were reported, per a Saturday announcement.

Vibrio vulnificus is a life-threatening infection that can require intensive care or amputations. Roughly one in five people with the infection die, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (RELATED: Trust In The CDC And Media To Deliver Accurate Information About COVID Tumbles, Poll Shows)

The bacteria can enter open wounds that are exposed to warm salt water or brackish water — which is a combination of salt and freshwater — according to the state’s Department of Health. Once the bacteria enters, those infected can become seriously sick.

The Connecticut Department of Health announced Saturday that there have been five reported cases since July, which is “an unusually high number.”

“The identification of these five cases over two months is very concerning,” said Dr. Matthew Cartter, State Epidemiologist for the state’s department of health, according to a press release. “This suggests the Vibrio bacteria may be present in salt or brackish water in or near Long Island Sound, and people should take precautions.”

Two of the five patients infected had septicemia, a potentially fatal blood infection, while the other three had serious wound infections, per the same report. All were hospitalized.

The Health Department said all five patients were exposed to the contaminated water while either swimming, crabbing or boating.