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Authorities warn that Long Island Sound bacteria have entered the wound and caused a rare disease in Connecticut

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Hartford, Connecticut (WABC)-Health officials in Connecticut have warned of an increase in illness due to long island sound exposure to bacteria.

Public Health Service Reporting an unusual number of infections Caused by Vibrio vulnificus since July, it has warned residents of coastline areas about the potential danger of exposure to salt or brackish water.

These infections can lead to serious illness, leading to hospitalization and amputation, the ministry said.

“The identification of the five cases over these two months is very worrisome,” said Dr. Matthew Carter, a state epidemiologist at the Ministry of Health. “This suggests that Vibrio may be present in saltwater or brackish water in or near Long Island Sound, and people need to take precautions.”

Five cases of Vibrio vulnificus infection have been reported since July, with patients aged 49 to 85 years in Fairfield, Middlesex and New Haven County. Four are men and one is a woman.

Two patients had sepsis and bloodstream infections, and three had severe wound infections.

All five patients were hospitalized and all reported to be exposed to salt or brackish water during activities such as swimming, crabs and boating.

No deaths have been reported.

Authorities say all five patients had existing or persistent new wounds during these activities, leading to Vibrio infection.

Vibrio vulnificus infection is a very rare disease, with only seven cases reported in Connecticut between 2010 and 2019.

Those heading to Long Island Sound are strongly advised to cover their wounds, recent piercings and new tattoos with a waterproof bandage and wash them thoroughly with soap.

For more information CDC.gov/vibrio/wounds..

(The Associated Press contributed to this report)

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