There have been two more reported cases of flesh-eating bacteria infections in Florida waters recently, and Tampa Bay area physicians are warning visitors and residents to be careful when swimming in brackish water or when eating raw seafood.

Carolyn Fleming, 77, contracted necrotizing fasciitis while at Coquina Beach two weeks ago and died last Thursday. Fleming had gone for a walk on the beach when her son, Wade, noticed that her shin was bleeding.

“She fell where there was a little divot in the ocean, she hit a rock or something and cut her shin,” Traci Fleming, her daughter-in-law, told the Herald Tribune. “It wasn’t really a big deal; she had a little bump. We got an ice pack out of the cooler and the lifeguard cleaned it and went on his way.”

Two weeks later, Fleming died.

This case came just a few weeks after a mother of a 12-year-old girl from Indiana wrote on Facebook that she believed her daughter contracted the same infection during their trip to Destin last early June.

Michelle Brown wrote that three days after their arrival in Destin, her daughter, Kylei, woke up with pain in her calf. It eventually got so painful that Kylei had to be carried just to move.

Three days and three operations later, and Kylei was diagnosed with necrotizing fasciitis, which is a flesh-eating bacteria normally found in water.

Kylei’s family had previously visited the Gulf of Mexico the day before the pain started.

“I wholeheartedly believe she contracted the bacteria through a scrape on her big toe (foot on same leg) while we visited Pompano Beach in Destin, Florida,” Kylei’s mother wrote on Facebook.

In response to media inquiries, the Florida Department of Health released a statement last Wednesday stating that there are “no public health concerns” about the Destin infection claim.

Necrotizing fasciitis is an infection that is caused by bacteria that stops blood circulation and causes tissues to die and skin to decay. This infection is somewhat rare and can come from different strains of bacteria, according to doctors. It is dubbed the “flesh-eating bacteria” because of the infection’s rapid progression.

Florida Visitors and residents should take care when swimming in brackish waters or eating raw seafood as there have been two reported cases of people contracting necrotizing fasciitis. Necrotizing fasciitis is an infection that stops blood circulation causing tissue to die and skin to decay, and has been dubbed as the “flesh-eating” bacteria. Photo: David Mark / Pixabay