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Man dies of flesh-eating bacteria after swimming in Gulf of Mexico

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posted on Aug, 1 2007 @ 03:44 PM
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Man dies of flesh-eating bacteria after swimming in Gulf of Mexico


After flesh-eating bacteria claimed the life of his father, Michael Theriot is warning people against swimming in Louisiana bayous. Last month, Michael Theriot Sr. was on the Robinson Canal in Cocodrie, La., when he fell overboard and cut his hand on a piece of tin.

From then on, he battled an infection of Vibrio vulnificus, a disease found during the summer months in warm salt water.

"Twenty-six days he stayed in the hospital on life support, from the time of the accident until he passed away on June 12," Theriot said.

Symptoms include fever, chills, diarrhea and intense stomach pain. Vibrio vulnificus can be treated with antibiotics, but it has to be treated early.


I dont know if the recent emergence of flesh eating bacteria has anything to do with the incresingly large "dead-zone" in the gulf, which has become the epicenter of dwindling marine life, but it seems that there may be some remote correlation between the two.

With the planets ecosystem being thrown more and more out of whack, I am wondering if more random diseases will rear their ugly heads in the near future.

It is a shame that a poor man had to lose his life over this, but it goes to show that things are definitely not what they used to be. With everyone treating our oceans like giant toilets, something was bound to give eventually. You can now die from having a nice swim in the ocean.

Does anyone see any potential causes of this, or could you forsee any more devastating catastrophes similar to this happening in the future?




posted on Aug, 1 2007 @ 03:50 PM
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That has to be one of the most nightmare type diseases one could get. Imagine lying in a bed helpless as bacteria eats away at you bit by bit. The pain must be horrible.

One things for sure, no way in hell anyone should get anywhere near that water until some studies are done to ascertain if its contaminated.



posted on Aug, 1 2007 @ 04:04 PM
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Agreed Ocelot. Very scary indeed. What's even more scary is that these "dead-zones" are appearing around the coast of the US expected and unexpectedly.

If I heard of one of these by me, I would not set foot near the water, lest some bacteria works its way into some miniscule abrasion on my skin.

I wonder what impact this has on marine habitats that spawn the fish we eat. So much for seafood being safe to eat...

Dead-zone appears off coast of Oregon for 6th year in a row



posted on Aug, 1 2007 @ 04:11 PM
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Doing a bit of Digging I found some articles that may shed some light as to what the causes of these "dead zones" are.

The Dead Zone in the Gulf of Mexico

Dead Zones Increasing in World's Coastal Waters



posted on Aug, 1 2007 @ 05:35 PM
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I personally don't think this is a natural occurring bacteria. It only arose, what, ten years ago.

I personally think much of it is due to the pollution that is going on. There was a report on the Houston news several years ago about hospitals dumping their needles out onto Galveston beach. This type of thing happens more often than any of us care to admit.

We are paying the piper through flesh eating bacteria and other strange strains of diseases going around nowadays.



posted on Aug, 1 2007 @ 07:23 PM
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I don't think this is new. And it probably doesn't have to do with the dead spot you were talking about.

www.cdc.gov...

Long article on vibrio vulificus here

I think I dodged a bullet swimming in Thailand, then. Whew.



posted on Aug, 1 2007 @ 07:26 PM
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Originally posted by Don Wahn

If I heard of one of these by me, I would not set foot near the water, lest some bacteria works its way into some miniscule abrasion on my skin.



The dead zones do not appear to be bacterial. They are two different things.




Unlike the dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico, which is caused by fertilizer washing down the Mississippi River, the Oregon dead zone is triggered by northerly winds, which create an ocean-mixing condition called upwelling.

This brings low-oxygen waters from deep in the ocean close to shore, and spreads nitrogen and other nutrients through the water column, kicking off a population boom of plankton, the tiny plants and animals at the foundation of the ocean food web.

Normally, this is good for salmon, giving them lots of food to eat. But when huge amounts of plankton die, they fall to the bottom of the ocean, where they decompose, depleting the water of oxygen.

From Dead Zone Returns to Oregon Coast



I used to love to swim in the water, except when we swam in Imperial Beach you had to be careful because of untreated sewage being pumped into the ocean in Tijuana.

But I think I am afraid to swim in the sea now. I'll have to take my kids somewhere chlorinated for those fun summer memories.



posted on Aug, 1 2007 @ 07:31 PM
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What to say? It is terrible that the man had to die and leave a loving family all because of a cut. It worries me greatly the fact that our Mother ocean is so contaminated and this is only the beginning.



posted on Aug, 16 2007 @ 02:14 AM
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There is nothing, as of now, that links the dead zones to these bacteria.

Although I wouldn't recommend anyone to swim in the ocean with any cut, nomatter how small.

There was a case in South Florida not too long ago, about two weeks ago i think, that a woman also got this flesh eating bacteria in her skin after swimming at the beach with a cut on her body.

My parents still live in south Florida and my mother informed me that they are suggesting for people not to swim in Floridian beaches.


Man Infected With Flesh-Eating Bacteria
Bacteria Caught While Fishing

POSTED: 1:13 pm EDT July 17, 2007

GALVESTON, Texas -- A man is fighting for his life after he was infected with a deadly flesh-eating bacteria.

Steve Gilpatrick said he and his family go to Galveston every year for a week of vacation.

"We have a big family and everybody comes here and just has fun," daughter Erin Gilpatrick said.


Steve Gilpatrick was fishing at Crystal Beach on July 8.

"He was in the water for no more than half an hour," wife Linda Gilpatrick said.

Within a few days, Steve Gilpatrick had an infection in his leg, Houston TV station KPRC reported.

"He's diabetic and just thought he had an infection, a severe infection of some sort," Linda Gilpatrick said. "He had no way of knowing the gravity of it."

www.local6.com...


There is another case, which is strange, but a woman seems to have also contracted this bacteria also in Florida and doctors found this only after she gave birth to her son.


Fort Lauderdale Personal Injury Lawyer
Florida Woman with Flesh Eating Bacteria Sues Hospital for Medical Malpractice

A woman in central Florida is suing a hospital for medical mapractice after contracting a horrible flesh eating bacteria. Claudia Mejias, 23, went to Orlando Regional South Seminole Hospital to deliver her son, Matthew.

After giving birth the hospital informed her she contracted this horrific bacteria and amputation was her only option to live. Suit was just filed.

fortlauderdale.injuryboard.com...

Another woman is saying she contracted the bacteria at another hospital also in south FLorida after a procedure was done to remove a varicose vein from her leg and filed a lawsuit.

This is from 2006


Flesh-Eating Bacteria Lawsuit Settled

POSTED: 4:42 pm EDT October 10, 2006
UPDATED: 8:16 pm EDT October 10, 2006

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A woman who says she contracted flesh-eating bacteria during a procedure at a Jacksonville clinic sued the doctor and is expected to receive a $100,000 settlement in the case.

Two years ago, Dorothy Hartman went to The Vein Clinic to have a painful varicose vein removed and in the process she said she contracted a flesh-eating bacteria that has permanently disfigured her.

Dorothy Hartman was in a coma for nearly a month and half, and spent seven more months in hospitals and rehabs because of a flesh-eating bacterium that not only nearly took her leg, but almost took her life.

www.news4jax.com...

Apparently this bacteria is present in some hospitals too, unless these women lied about their stories, or they might have simply believed that's when they got the bacteria and could have gotten it before.

If the stories of those two women is true, they might have gotten the bacteria at a beach but that's not what they are saying, then these bacteria can be found not only in warm oceans.



[edit on 16-8-2007 by Muaddib]



posted on Aug, 16 2007 @ 10:27 AM
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From MM's second link: textbookofbacteriology.net...

"Vibrio vulnificus is an emerging pathogen of humans. It causes wound infections, gastroenteritis, or a syndrome known as primary septicemia. It was first recognized as an agent of disease in 1976. The first documented case of disease caused by the bacterium was in 1979...Between 1988 and 1995, CDC received reports of over 300 V. vulnificus infections from the Gulf Coast states, where the majority of cases occur."

Since it's primarily found in the Gulf of Mexico, and was first identified in 1976, it would seem that this bacteria could indeed be related to the Dead Zone in the Gulf. You can't upset the balance of Nature without suffering some negative result.



posted on Aug, 17 2007 @ 12:40 AM
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Originally posted by forestlady
..................
Since it's primarily found in the Gulf of Mexico, and was first identified in 1976, it would seem that this bacteria could indeed be related to the Dead Zone in the Gulf. You can't upset the balance of Nature without suffering some negative result.


Not so, there are at least 150 of such dead zones around the world, and as I already pointed out, there have been cases which apparently people got this flesh eating bacteria from hospitals.

Last i checked hospitals don't use seawater to sterelize their equipment, unless I am completely wrong.



posted on Aug, 17 2007 @ 03:26 AM
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Originally posted by SpeakerofTruth

I personally think much of it is due to the pollution that is going on. There was a report on the Houston news several years ago about hospitals dumping their needles out onto Galveston beach. This type of thing happens more often than any of us care to admit.



15+ years ago I used to hear all the time about needles and medical waste washing up on beaches in NJ. My mom would take us to Jersey for vacation and it was something we would just watch out for.

I am shocked to hear about this poor guy the OP posted about. I am even more shocked that I heard about it on ATS instead of CNN, MSNBC, etc etc. However if I want the latest on the K-Fed/Brittney Spears rumors as they do nothing more than serve each other with court papers, I can tune in to any mainstream media outlet and find out inside of 15 mins.



posted on Aug, 17 2007 @ 09:11 AM
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Originally posted by Muaddib

Originally posted by forestlady
..................
Since it's primarily found in the Gulf of Mexico, and was first identified in 1976, it would seem that this bacteria could indeed be related to the Dead Zone in the Gulf. You can't upset the balance of Nature without suffering some negative result.


Not so, there are at least 150 of such dead zones around the world, and as I already pointed out, there have been cases which apparently people got this flesh eating bacteria from hospitals.

Last i checked hospitals don't use seawater to sterelize their equipment, unless I am completely wrong.


Muaddib, the article is referring to the fact that it is found primarily in the Gulf of Mexico, in this country, not the world. There are 156 reported dead zones worldwide. Also, some people may have gotten it in a hospital, but where did it originate? That's my point, is that it may well have originated, at least in this country, in the GofM's dead zone. I'm just going by what the article said.
Read the article, you might get the gist of it better.

[edit on 17/8/07 by forestlady]



posted on Aug, 17 2007 @ 12:04 PM
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I wouldn't necessarily say that there is a relation between Vibrio Vulnificus and the dead zones found in certain parts of the world. There is some evidence to suggest that bacteria such as this multiply in areas where human waste is abundant, but little evidence that points to their replication in dead zones. One factor that might contribute to the abundance of bacteria and viruses in dead zones is because of the lack of oxygen found in these areas. As oxygen in the water depletes marine creatures that depend on it will die, leaving dead carcasses to decompose on the ocean floor. This provides a good point of entry for both bacteria and viruses, which in turn replicate in the decomposing bodies at extreme rates and make the overall volume of these bacteria and viruses grow to a more substantial size in the worlds oceans. As of now, however, there appears to be little evidence of a correlation between this case and dead zones. Vibrio Vulnificus is a Halophile found in the family of bacteria that also causes Cholera, which is a Gram Negetive bacteria that has two outer membranes, making it harder to treat than normal single membraned bacteria. This family of bacteria are also known for their ability to easily mutate and transfer their genetic structure to other strains of bacteria, which essentially means that new strains of bacteria found in the Cholera sub-family appear quite frequently. However, Vibrio Vulnificus is a very different bacteria than Cholera and they should never be thought of as being similar outside of cellular formation and ability to mutate.

Vibrio Vulnificus in particular usually only causes fatalities in cases which display a previous immunosuppressive disease such as Hepatitis, HIV, and Diabetes, or in people with Thymus, Liver, and Kidney diseases. I would be curious to hear if the individual was co-infected with another disease or another illness which would compromise his Immune system. Like most bacteria, Vibrio Vulnificus needs a point of entry into the body, which would coorelate with a fracture of the skin or an open wound. Undamaged skin does not provide a good point of entry for bacteria, which is why most bacteria found in seawater do not cause infections. In fact, most cases of infection from Vibrio Vulnificus are primarily contracted through oral digestion of contaminated seafood. It would be interesting to hear if the autopsy found any trace of ingested seafood before the man went swimming. If this were true then the infection would have occured during consumption, rather than during the swim.

I wouldn't let a case like this scare anyone from taking a dip in the ocean however. If you knew the amount of bacteria and viruses found in one milliliter of seawater you would probably never swim again.

Food for thought (and answer to the above point)- There are somewhere between 40-50 million individual viruses that have been found in just one milliliter of seawater, which consist primarily of Bacteriophages or viruses that take advantage of Phytoplankton. Everytime you go for a swim in the ocean you are surrounding yourself with bacteria and viruses on an incomprehensive scale.



posted on Aug, 17 2007 @ 05:05 PM
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Originally posted by Jazzerman
I wouldn't necessarily say that there is a relation between Vibrio Vulnificus and the dead zones found in certain parts of the world. There is some evidence to suggest that bacteria such as this multiply in areas where human waste is abundant, but little evidence that points to their replication in dead zones.


Hmmm, they would seem to contradict each other, no? I mean, they think that 1) fertilizer and 2) human waste are causing dead zones (in that order). Wouldn't that mean that this strain of Vivrio WOULD be found in dead zones? Can you elaborate a little more, Jazzerman? I'm confused.
BTW, thank you for all the info, I appreciate you taking the time to write it all up. Very informative. THank you.



posted on Aug, 17 2007 @ 05:52 PM
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I wonder what is in the water! Just think of how toxic the water was after Hurricane Katrina! It would be interesting to see some test results.



posted on Aug, 17 2007 @ 07:07 PM
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Forestlady,

Good question, and I should have more clearly stated the difference between the two. I don't believe there is much evidence that "this case" of Vibrio Vulnificus was caused by the dead zones found around the world, but that is not to say that it doesn't thrive in other conditions. In other words, while Vibrio Vulnificus does and can survive in dead zones the man in the article apparently died in a region of the Louisiana bayou, which I wouldn't necessarily think to be a part of a "dead zone". After reading the article again it also appears that the gentleman had a laceration which caused the infection. Not only that, but upon further investigation I have read other articles stating that he did in fact have diabetes, which as I pointed out before is a primary reason for fatalities related to Vibrio Vulnificus. So it would appear that his infection caused a fatality because it was acting as a secondary condition to his diabetes that was compromising his immune system. Another small point is that I have never heard of a freshwater dead zone being caused by an upsurge in the amount of bacteriological agents that contaminate the region with Carbon Dioxide. A bit more of an explanation is needed...

Dead zones in areas of salinated water usually occur when Phytoplankton release their byproducts, which sink to the bottom of the area and are attacked by bacteria which in turn begin the process of bacterial respiration. This process converts organic matter containing oxygen into Carbon Dioxide, thus converting the area into a wasteland by removing the oxygen in relatively large amounts. As the area loses oxygen it kills off other forms of life, which in turn become a harbinger for more bacteria and promotes the release of even more Carbon Dioxide into the salinated area. What this means is that dead zones are not necessarily created by humans, but can be created from the byproducts of unicellular and multicellular organisms which dwell in these areas.

This is not to say that humans do not contribute to some of these areas or in most cases cause them, but there is definitely a larger contribution by natural processes. Fertilizer, as you mentioned, is a known contamination factor and a good representation of the way in which human waste can destroy an environment. However, if I were to evaluate this case any further I would need to know the exact location where his infection occured. The Mississippi River basin that empties the river into the Gulf of Mexico is a prime location to convey byproducts and fertilizer into an otherwise stable environment, but we cannot assume that the exact location of this infection occured in an area of heavy human contamination. Vibrio Vulnificus is completely able to thrive by the processes I have previously described and it would not necessarily mean that it doesn't survive in areas outside of these "dead zones" as well.

[edit on 17-8-2007 by Jazzerman]



posted on Aug, 18 2007 @ 05:42 PM
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Originally posted by SpeakerofTruth
I personally don't think this is a natural occurring bacteria. It only arose, what, ten years ago.

I personally think much of it is due to the pollution that is going on. There was a report on the Houston news several years ago about hospitals dumping their needles out onto Galveston beach. This type of thing happens more often than any of us care to admit.

We are paying the piper through flesh eating bacteria and other strange strains of diseases going around nowadays.


I just wonder what diseases will spring up after this next hurricane or even the tropical depressions that have already caused flooding in the state of Texas?



posted on Aug, 18 2007 @ 11:26 PM
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Originally posted by SpeakerofTruth
I personally don't think this is a natural occurring bacteria. It only arose, what, ten years ago.
................


This is what eats me up, when people make claims without knowing the facts...

This is nothing new people....and such a disease has flourished during the Little Ice Age in places like the Andes....

Please do "inform yourselves and deny ignorance"....


Representations of skin lesions and facial deformities have been found on pre-Inca potteries from Ecuador and Peru dating back to the first century AD. They are evidence that cutaneous and mucocutaneous forms of leishmaniasis prevailed in the New World as early as this period.
Texts from the Inca period in the 15th and 16th centuries, and then during the Spanish colonization, mention the risk run by seasonal agricultural workers who returned from the Andes with skin ulcers which, in those times, were attributed to "valley sickness" or "Andean sickness"....

www.who.int...

This is nothing new in the least....and there have been endemics and pandemics of this disease even during the Little Ice Age, which means during a time when temperatures in the Andes were −3.2 ± 1.4°C cooler than temperatures are now....

The Environlunatics also tried to claim that because of Global Warming malaria would spread around the world, but experts refute that claim, and we know that there have been endemic cases of malaria in Russia/siberia....where it is very cold....

[edit on 18-8-2007 by Muaddib]



posted on Aug, 18 2007 @ 11:29 PM
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Let's read some more about this disease in the past....


Texts from the Inca period in the 15th and 16th centuries, and then during the Spanish colonization, mention the risk run by seasonal agricultural workers who returned from the Andes with skin ulcers which, in those times were attributed to "valley sickness" or "Andean sickness". Later, disfigurements of the nose and mouth become known as "white leprosy" because of their strong resemblance to the lesions caused by leprosy. In the Old World, Indian physicians applied the Sanskrit term kala azar (meaning "black fever") to an ancient disease later defined as visceral leishmaniasis.

In 1901, Leishman identified certain organisms in smears taken from the spleen of a patient who had died from "dum-dum fever". At the time "Dum-dum", a town not far from Calcutta, was considered to be particularly unhealthy. The disease was characterized by general debility, irregular and repetitive bouts of fever, severe anaemia, muscular atrophy and excessive swelling of the spleen. Initially, these organisms were considered to be trypanosomes, but in 1903 Captain Donovan described them as being new.

The link between these organisms and kala azar was eventually discovered by Major Ross, who named them Leishmania donovani. The Leishmania genus had been discovered.

www.who.int...





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