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It’s the Season to Take Precaution Against Waterborne Illnesses


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The bacteria can cause a flesh-eating illness. Photo: Flickr Creative Commons

The bacteria can cause a flesh-eating illness. Photo: Flickr Creative Commons

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Swimmers and fisherman in Florida should take precautions against contracting waterborne illnesses from saltwater bacteria as ocean temperatures begin to rise during the summer. Orlando Health’s Dr. Alex Benjamin says Mycobacterium marinum bacteria that can cause bone disease in  immunocompromised patients, can enter the body when open wounds come in contact with contaminated water.

“Thinking about protecting your feet when you’re wading in the water, protecting your hands when you’re unhooking fish or bait, cleaning fish or shucking oysters.”

Benjamin says the infection begins with a skin infection, and can be treated in most healthy patients over the course of several months using antibiotics.

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Danielle Prieur

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