At the peak of the summer season in North America, a flesh-eating bacteria has infected the U.S.'s shores along the Gulf of Mexico.
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From Texas to Florida, the water-borne bug – a strain called a Vibrio vulnificus – has everyone spooked: infections are rare, but when they strike, the victim is likely to lose a limb or die.
Vibrio can infect humans in two ways: through raw seafood, like oysters, or through contact with a cut or wound, even if the cut is invisible. Once in the body, the bacteria infiltrates the layer of flesh between muscle and skin, where it releases a toxin that destroys the tissue.