SARASOTA, Fla.- There's a new warning for beachgoers after a person died and another got sick from being infected by a flesh-eating bacteria in the Gulf of Mexico.
The infections happened in Sarasota and in the northern part of the state.
The bacteria is called vibrio vulnificus and it lives in warm, salty waters. The Sarasota County Health Department says both victims are middle-aged and had previous medical conditions. Doctors say both people probably got the infection through open wounds on their bodies.
A 7-year old girl was infected near Jacksonville. She got the bacteria through an open cut on her foot.
The bacteria can cause skin to breakdown.
People can also get infected by eating raw shellfish.
The Health Department says the bacteria rarely causes serious illness. Symptoms can include fever, swelling of the arms or legs, blisters and low blood pressure.
According to the Lee County Department of Health, there has been one reported case of vibrio in the county. That person got it from eating shellfish, but recovered. The Health Department wants to remind everyone that less than one percent of people come down with the infection.