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Fisherman explains how to avoid contracting flesh-eating bacteria found in waterways

Posted at 7:14 PM, Oct 23, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-23 22:47:08-04

A warning tonight about a flesh-eating bacteria common to Louisiana waterways.

It’s called Vibrio Vulnificus.

It’s found in warm water and can cause illness in people who eat colonized seafood or enter the water with an open wound, according to the Department of Health and Hospitals.

Every year Louisiana sees ten to fifteen cases of the bacteria.

“It’s mostly caught by an open wound in the water. Fishermen are really accessible(susceptible) to catching it. They get an open wound, especially like the crab fisherman. If you get a crab cage rusted and broke up, and it cuts you, I’ve known fisherman to catch it,” said Delcambre fisherman and business owner Preston Doré.

Preston Doré is familiar with Vibrio Vulnficus. One of his fellow fishermen died from the flesh-eating bacteria.

”He had got cut from a crab trap, and it got infected and he eventually lost his hand from it, and we understand he eventually died from it,” said Doré.

The bacteria isn’t keeping Doré off the water, but it forces him to be aware of his surroundings and forces him to be vigilant.

“Anytime you get an open wound you’re very leery. Especially the fisherman because you’re messing with a lot of stuff in the water, debris, and stuff. You catch a lot of trash in the water and it’s very easy to get cut,” explained Doré.

Vibrio Vulnificus is in the same family as Cholera. It naturally occurs in seawater everywhere.

That’s why Doré says he takes precautions every time he goes on the water.

“I mean we use peroxide mostly, but like to wash our hands after we’re fishing we’ll take and use bleach water to soak our gloves in it, clean it out, and dry them. Make sure it kills everything. And, something to wrap it. Like if you have a cut you can wrap it and saran wrap it after you treat it just to keep the water and other stuff out of it,” explained Doré.

If you’re in the water and get a cut or an open wound, doctors recommend you get checked out immediately after back on shore.