Zombies are real, the world is ending, and these parasites will eat the flesh right off your body.
Get your barf bags out, people, because it's getting real out here. I'm not (I am) a dooms-dayist, but there is flesh-eating bacteria in the water, and that basically means the end is nigh.
You've probably heard of vibrio by now, and if you haven't, I'll give you a quick run-down: IT EATS YOU ALIVE. Okay, but here's the scientific explanation. It's a bacteria that you can get from being in bacteria-infested water (the ocean, the bay, basically any coastal water) that can cause skin infection. If it gets really bad, the infection can enter your bloodstream, cause low blood pressure, require limb amputation, and cause an intense health decline which can lead to death in untreated and/or immune-compromised people.
The terrifying case that we're here to talk about today hits very close to home: Norfolk, Virginia's Ocean View Beach. Yes, a beautiful and popular family summer vacation locale is now the setting of the latest horror movie. Amanda Edwards was swimming there for just 10 minutes — that's basically enough time to get used to the chill of the water against the summer heat and then get right back out — when her leg became infected. We're not talking swimming along the shoreline for an idyllic workout, we're not talking frolicking in the waves with your friends, we're not talking playing a very impossible game of Marco-Polo. We're talking she got hot, she decided to take a quick dip to cool off, she got out of the water, and a day later required serious medical attention.
She tried to tough it out for a few days, but NOPE. She had to go to the hospital where a scene took place not unlike that crazy scene in Stranger Things 3 where they had to cut open Eleven's leg in the middle of the mall. And this isn't entirely an exaggeration. In her own words, the doctors at the hospital had to cut her leg "open, drain it out, and stuff it with some gauze." HORRIFYING.
Edwards is currently on antibiotics and will be for the next two weeks. Needless to say, she's done with swimming for the rest of the summer, and she's going to think twice before hopping back in the ocean in the future. AS SHOULD YOU.
Check the news, check the internet, and check yourself before taking any watery vacations this summer. Beaches are issuing warnings and advisories. Pay attention to them. Ask lifeguards and locals if you're not sure. Make sure you don't have any open cuts or immune system problems.
According to the CDC, "Vibriosis causes an estimated 80,000 illnesses and 100 deaths in the United States every year," and this is primetime for infection. Vibrio is at its strongest when the water is warm between the months of May and October. Word to the seafood lovers out there: you can even get it from undercooked shellfish. Aw shucks! (Sorry, had to...)
Just remember: people and rats are exploding and turning into an evil goo that will use mind control to take over the world.
Oh, wait, sorry, that's that TV show again.
Back to real life. I'm going to go use that barf bag I mentioned earlier.
Are you going to risk the beach this summer? I'm not! Let us know in the comments!