New York State is issuing a warning after three people died from a rare flesh-eating bacteria.

Governor Kathy Hochul confirmed on Wednesday that vibriosis, a rare but potentially fatal bacterial infection that can cause skin breakdown and ulcers, was discovered in a recently deceased New York State resident.

Rare Fatal Bacterial Infection Kills Suffolk County, Long Island, New York Resident

Hochul confirmed a person who recently died who lived in Suffolk County tested positive for vibriosis.

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3 People Die From Rare Flesh-Eating Bacteria

The Long Island resident is the third person to die from the infection in recent weeks. According to Hochul's office, fatal cases of vibriosis have also been identified in Connecticut.


"Vibriosis is caused by several species of bacteria, including the Vibrio vulnificus bacteria, which occurs naturally in saltwater coastal environments and can be found in higher concentrations from May to October when the weather is warmer. Infection with vibriosis can cause a range of symptoms when ingested, including diarrhea, stomach cramps, vomiting, fever and chills. Exposure can also result in ear infections and cause sepsis and life-threatening wound infections," Hochul's Office stated in a press release.

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New York State Department of Health Has Issued Guidance To Providers On Best Practices To Treat And Identify Cases

New York State Department of Health issued guidance to help prevent vibriosis. Officials recommend:

  • Anyone with a wound, such as a cut or scrape, a recent piercing or a tattoo, avoid exposing skin to warm seawater in coastal environments.
  • If you must go in warm seawater, cover the wound, piercing, or tattoo with a waterproof bandage.
  • Those with compromised immune systems should avoid eating raw or undercooked shellfish, such as oysters, which can carry the bacteria.
  • Wear gloves when handling raw shellfish and thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water when finished.

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