This is very scary stuff. I have read several reports of these infections in the last year or so. I don't swim in the rivers or lagoons unless absolutely necessary, like if my boat sank.
August 19, 2005
Woman dies of bacteria from St. Johns River
Jacksonville woman, 45, victim of flesh-eating bacteria
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A 45-year-old Jacksonville woman has died from flesh-eating bacteria that she contracted while riding a personal watercraft on the St. Johns River, officials said.
Candace Scott died Aug. 3, Duval County health officials said.
Two or three cases of flesh-eating bacteria are typically reported in the county each year, but deaths are rare, said Tim Lawther, director of chronic disease and prevention for the county's health department.
The bacteria that caused Scott's fatal infection typically enters the body through an open wound and absorbs into the bloodstream, Lawther said.
Scott's brother, Bill, said she had cut her leg the day she was at the river.
Necrotizing fasciitis is a fast-moving form of the Group A strep bacteria that destroys muscles, fat, and skin tissue. It's a rare and invasive form of the same bug that causes strep throat and scarlet fever.
"At this point, we're not telling people to stay out of the water because of this one instance," Lawther said. "However, if you don't heal well and you have an open wound you should stay out of the water because that puts you at a higher risk."
The health department said Scott's infection was not related to blue-green algae appearing in streaks along the river.