Virginian's death linked to flesh-eating bacteria, infection

Vibrio vulnificus: Cropped Photo: CDC / James Gathany / Wikipeida / MGN
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HAMPTON ROADS, Va. (AP) — Authorities say a Virginian has died from an infection caused by a waterborne flesh-eating bacterium.

News outlets report the resident was one of 23 people in Virginia who have had reported cases of Vibrio bacterial infections since April. This is the first death this year.

Virginia Department of Health officials aren't releasing the person's name or where they were exposed, citing privacy laws. A health department foodborne disease epidemiology program coordinator, Katherine McCombs, says it happened in the department's eastern region, which includes the Hampton Roads area.

Vibrio bacteria are found in brackish or warm salt water and can cause serious infections. The most common species of Vibrio that cause illness in Virginia do so through exposure to cuts or through ingestion of undercooked shellfish.