Tags: climate change | bacteria | oceans | disease

Study: Climate Change Linked To Rise in Severe Bacterial Infection

Study: Climate Change Linked To Rise in Severe Bacterial Infection

This handout image provided by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases shows an electron microscope image of Group A Streptococcus (orange) during phagocytic interaction with a human neutrophil (blue). (National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases via AP)

By    |   Wednesday, 19 June 2019 05:11 PM

A spate of potentially deadly infections caused by a severe, occasionally flesh-eating disease may be linked to climate change that’s resulted in warmer ocean waters, a new study suggests.

A study in the Annals of Internal Medicine noted the bacterial infection V. vulnificus is endemic along the southeastern coast and is sometimes reported in the Chesapeake Bay. 

But infections have rarely been linked to Delaware Bay and the shores of New Jersey, where the water is colder — until now; five cases, one deadly, have been reported, the website Inverse reported Wednesday.

People get sick when the bacterium enters the body through an open wound — like a swimmer in contaminated waters — or from eating raw or undercooked shellfish, the publication noted. V. vunificus is the deadliest disease caused by the vibrio bacteria.

One sickened patient treated in New Jersey died, while the others recovered, the study found.

Madeline King, a professor clinical pharmacy at the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia and co-author of the study, told Inverse her team realized all the patients had been exposed to seafood or were wading in the Delaware Bay.

The researchers also believe the geographic spread is likely linked to the significant increase in sea surface temperatures in many of the country’s coastal regions. These, they wrote,  are connected to “longer summer seasons and … alterations in the quantity, distribution, and seasonal windows of bacteria,” Inverse reported.

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A spate of potentially deadly infections caused by a severe, occasionally flesh-eating disease may be linked to climate change that's resulted in warmer ocean waters, a new study suggests.
climate change, bacteria, oceans, disease
233
2019-11-19
Wednesday, 19 June 2019 05:11 PM
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