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Flesh Eating Bacteria Patient Remains In ICU Health Minister: No Need For Alarm

The victim of a potentially deadly “flesh eating” bacteria remains in intensive care at a private hospital.

According to Health Minister, Dr. Perry Gomez, at last report, the patient was still being treated for the bug caused by the organism, Vibrio Vulnificus.

The bacterial infection has the potential to cause severe infection.

“Once the bug gets into the skin through an abrasion and if you happen to be an immuno-compromise person – that is you’re immune system is not up to par – then you are susceptible to becoming very ill,” Minister Gomez explained during his appearance on the Love 97/JCN 14 weekly talkshow, Jones and Company with host Wendall Jones yesterday.

The patient was one of about 10 people visiting Andros on a hunting trip. It is believed the victim contracted the disease while standing in brackish waters.

“It is normal for the bacteria to be in salt water and the majority of times, nothing happens. There are some conditions – most people are healthy. People may have come in contact with it, and nothing happens,” the minister said.

When initially contacted by the media, Minister Gomez admitted he was unaware of the issue.

Defending that fact, he said at the time, the Ministry of Health had not yet been notified.

“The hospital did so as early as it could with certainty because medicine isn’t magic,” he said.
“You have to prove a diagnosis. You can’t report a disease on suspicion. You must have the proof and the proof takes time. You may suspect this and depending on the relationship you have with public health, you may say something like that but you cannot report it officially until you prove a diagnosis. In a case like this, you must grow the bacteria…and to process it takes 48 to 72 hours before you have definitive answers.”

While there have been a number of these cases reported in Florida and other southern U.S. states, the minister assured that the present case is the only one in The Bahamas

“I don’t think this is something the public should not be alarmed about. We have had one case that we know about and we trust this will be the only one we see,” Minister Gomez said.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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