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Froelich comments on flesh-eating bacterium

A Flesh-Eating Bacterium Is Creeping North as Oceans Warm

The Vibrio vulnificus pathogen thrives in hot coastal waters, and beachgoers can contract it via a small cut or scrape. It can also kill them in two days.

Marine biologists are tracking an unprecedented surge in ocean-going bacteria known as Vibrio, which recently killed three people and sickened a fourth in Connecticut and New York, at least two of them after swimming in the coastal waters of Long Island Sound.

“People down here may have a buddy who got cut on a shell or while fishing, and their finger’s a little red and swollen, and somebody will be like, ‘Don't sleep on that. I had a buddy who waited till the next morning and he lost his hand,’" says Brett Froelich, Assistant Professor, Department of Biology. “Other people in other locations don't know that. They will absolutely think, ‘Well, I hope it gets better in the morning,’ and in the morning, their hand is black.”

Read more from Wired and Popular Mechanics.