• Beaches along the Mississippi gulf coast closed after toxic bacteria found in water

    Updated:

    All beaches along the Mississippi gulf coast are now closed.

    People are being warned by the Department of Environmental Quality to stay out as long as toxic bacteria spread along the coast.

    FOX13 spoke with a local infectious disease specialist whose see people affected by the bacteria.

    He urges people from the Mid-South to use caution.

    "In the warm waters of the ocean, there lives a germ called vibrio and it generally gets lumped into that thing we call flesh-eating bacteria," said infectious disease specialist Steve Threlkeld.

    The specialist showed FOX13 examples of how toxic bacterias can impact people in the water.

    "Vibrio is a germ that lives in the warm waters in the Gulf and particularity two types of people are more subject to that infection... It can cause cellulitis – where you have redness around the cut – or two where you have a severe illness where you see blisters that look blood field.”  


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    Threlkeld said people susceptible to Vibrio infections are more likely to be people exposing open cuts in water or those with suppressed immune systems.

    He said it's not as common otherwise.

    “It is, in fact, quite rare in normal individuals, so don’t let it impact your vacation,” Threlkeld said.

    If you're seeing any blisters, or redness after a trip to the ocean, doctors urge you to get it checked out - just in case.

    Editors note: Coastal Mississippi reached out to FOX13 and wanted to clarify the harmful algae which caused the closure does not necessarily contain vibrio. 

     

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