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Florida Braces for Seaweed Infested with Flesh-Eating Bacteria

May 31, 2023 | By Kali Girl

According to Newsweek, a massive seaweed blob heading for Florida may harbor lethal flesh-eating bacteria, warns a study from Florida Atlantic University.

The “Great Atlantic Sargassum Belt,” spanning 5,000 miles, consists of sargassum seaweed and floating plastic. Researchers at Florida Atlantic University have discovered a dangerous combination of Vibrio bacteria in the seaweed, posing a significant threat referred to as the “perfect pathogen storm.”

High levels of bacteria, including the “flesh-eating” Vibrio vulnificus, were discovered in beached sargassum seaweed. This bacterium easily attaches to marine plastic debris, which often accumulates in large amounts alongside the seaweed. Vibrio infections can cause severe illnesses, including necrotizing fasciitis, commonly known as “flesh-eating” disease.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention state that Vibrio can infect people through contaminated seafood consumption or open wounds exposed to seawater. Infected wounds may result in necrosis, causing the flesh to decay.

According to the CDC, approximately 1 in 5 people with the infection, usually die rapidly once infected. 

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