For once, a Florida PSA isn’t about crazy poeple. This time, it’s a crazy bacteria. According to sources, Florida officials have warned almost everyone from residents to tourists of a flesh-eating bacterium named Vibrio vulnificus. It causes ulceration and rapid skin decay and is fatal in about 50 percent of people who get it in their bloodstreams. Also according to the state, the bacteria has hospitalized 32 people, and killed ten in Florida, although through a period of years, not all at once.” More info after the jump.

Jamaal Fisher

In a more recent report published by state officials, “41 reported cases of infections from the deadly bacteria [occurred] last year in Florida, which killed 11 people, including a 59-year old man infected while crabbing in the Halifax River near Ormond Beach.”

It’s so serious that Broward-Palm Beach New Times posted this:

“A person can contract the virus by eating tainted raw shell fish and oysters,” Florida Department of Health Deputy Press Secretary Pamela Crane tells New Times. “And people who swim in seawater who have open wounds are also vulnerable to the bacteria.”

The virus can cause vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain, but is especially dangerous with those with a weaker immune system, especially in people with chronic liver disease. Vibrio can get into the bloodstream and cause life-threatening illnesses. Symptoms include fever, chills, a drop in blood pressure and skin lesions…

So basically, if you have a weak immune system, or an open wound, best to avoid the water for now.