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The Student News Site of Jupiter Community High School

War Cry

The Student News Site of Jupiter Community High School

War Cry

The Student News Site of Jupiter Community High School

War Cry

Flesh eating bacteria invades coastal waters

Elizabeth Dinow

Vibrio vulnificus, flesh eating bacteria, has invaded Tampa Bay’s waters, killing five people since January. With about 80,000 cases and 100 deaths in the U.S. every year, there have been about 26 infections reported in Fla. as of Aug. 22.  

Seafood products, such as bottom feeders, containing these pathogens harm consumers when ingested. This is especially relevant for towns located along the Florida coast, including Jupiter. 

“Bottom feeders are going to be the worst kind of seafood to eat. There’s really no way to control it if fish are eating it, it’s also restaurants that are buying seafood, probably shutting restaurants down,” Juliana De Sena, culinary teacher, said. 

Vibrio Vulnificus is not only found in foods containing pathogens, but also in marine waters as well. This bacteria does best in warm and brackish waters, growing in temperatures between 68-105°F (20-41°C).  

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“The Bacteria comes from a variety of sources including storm water runoff, pet waste, wildlife and human sewage. So its rain goes into soil, goes out into the water, goes along the coast and is found in the beaches,” Natalie DelloBuono, AICE marine science and environmental management teacher, said. “The tropical climate that we live in is very ideal for bacteria and so it multiplies really really quickly.” 

Studies show one in five people encountering Vibrio Vulnificus have died, although if treated properly and quickly, you can lower these chances. Symptoms are primarily centralized in the bowel movement, with those afflicted experiencing a variety of stomach issues as well as fever, low blood pressure, skin lesions and chills. 

“CDC recommends doxycycline 100mg intravenously or orally twice a day plus ceftazidime (or any other third-generation cephalosporin) 1 to 2g intravenously every 8 hours for the treatment of V. vulnificus infection [5,16,40]. In a retrospective study on 89 V,” The National Library of Medicine, said.

It’s important to be cautious about going in marine waters during the summer time, especially with open cuts and wounds. 

“The only [preventative measure] is testing the waters, that’s why environmental toxicologists are important, they go out into the field and they’re actually testing the quality of the water,” DelloBuono said. 

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About the Contributors
Grace Dellago, Staffer
Grace Dellago, sophomore, is a first-year staffer on Jupiter War Cry. Born and raised in Jupiter, Dellago looks forward to reporting on the ins and outs of the lifestyle and happenings of the bucolic seaside town. Upon joining the staff, increasing interaction with students and focusing on the multimedia aspects of journalism have been some of Dellago’s goals for the year. Outside of journalism, Dellago has been playing volleyball for over five years and is interested in playing for Jupiter High’s beach volleyball team. Although still an underclassman, Dellago wishes to study journalism and possibly continue volleyball in college.
Elizabeth Dinow, Editor-in-Chief
Elizabeth Dinow, senior, is in her seventh year of journalism and is one the Editors-In-Chief for the Jupiter War Cry. One thing Dinow loves about journalism is the community within. “Everyone has a story to tell and you get to find that out through journalism,” Dinow said. “I love school. I love learning, I've always loved to learn.” Outside of school, Dinow spends her free time boating, reading, and going to the gym. She runs cross country and track for Jupiter and her future goals consist of graduating high school and attending The University of Florida.

Comments (5)

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  • R

    Ryan chandlerSep 15, 2023 at 1:26 pm

    Heck ya This article is very informative, scary that this bacteria is taking over like crazy , definitely needs to be stopped.

  • C

    ChristianSep 15, 2023 at 12:24 pm

    Great job on this post. Very informative and something that I did not know even existed, but also not surprised. Keep up the great work!

  • I

    IsabellaSep 15, 2023 at 9:50 am

    Beautifully written! Can’t wait for the next article!!

  • A

    Ann-Marie DosherSep 15, 2023 at 9:33 am

    Thank you for this insightful reminder. Do the local communities, such as Jupiter, provide a toxicologist report on a consistent basis?

  • P

    PiperSep 15, 2023 at 9:30 am

    Such a interesting article! 80,000 cases with 100 deaths?! Honestly should be more well known! Thank you Grace, I look forward to more stories from you!! Totally recommending to people!!