“DOH-Lee is observing an abnormal increase in cases of Vibrio vulnificus infections as a result of exposure to the floodwaters and standing waters following Hurricane Ian,” said Lee County Department of Health spokesperson Tammy Soliz.
“Since September 29, 2022, 26 cases of Vibrio vulnificus associated with Hurricane Ian have been reported to DOH-Lee. All 26 cases had wound infections with exposure to Hurricane Ian floodwaters that occurred from the storm surge entering their homes or during post-storm clean-up. There have been six deaths among Lee County residents.”
Only ten fatalities and 34 instances of the infection were documented last year.
After Hurricane Ian hit Florida on October 3, health officials warned locals about the hazards of bacteria. The disease thrives in warm, brackish seawater and in coastal waters where sewage leaks.