Flesh Eating Bacteria at SPI More Common in Summer Time

3 years 6 months 5 days ago Monday, July 29 2019 Jul 29, 2019 July 29, 2019 4:34 PM July 29, 2019 in News - Local

SOUTH PADRE ISLAND - As summer continues, the gulf waters begin to warm up, which means the risk of coming into contact with bacteria in water is larger.

Vibrio is a bacteria most commonly found in the water and uncooked seafood.

The bacteria can't be tested because it's naturally occurring, but that doesn't mean the water isn't safe.

South Padre Island visitor, Joe Bogar, says he always makes sure his kids don't have any open wounds before getting in the water.

"We check all the kids to make sure they're safe, make sure that they don't have any scratches or anything like that," he says.

Cameron County Extension Agent for Coastal and Marine Resources, Tony Reisinger says one of the bacteria in the water year round is vibrio.

However, not all types of vibrio are deadly or lead to the flesh eating bacteria; only vibrio vulnificous, leads to the flesh eating bacteria.

"In the summer time especially it increases in numbers and then we have this new theory out there that says Saharan dust can actually increase the numbers, that's some of the more recent scientific literature," says Reisinger.

He says at South Padre Island, the high concentration of salt water helps keep cases down.

According to the Texas Department of State Health Services there have been 35 cases of all types of vibrio reported in region 11. 

Reisinger says he hasn't heard of any flesh eating vibrio here this year.

He says the water is safe, but residents should still be aware of any open wounds or scrapes before heading into the water.

For more information watch the video above.

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