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  1. #1
    ramnj's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    New Jersey

    Water Infections

    Found this on another forum and figured it would be worth posting here:

    Living where we do, we are surrounded by water and have the opportunity for many marine-based activities. Surfing, fishing, boating and skiing are a few examples of how we have fun on the water. However, the water also provides a unique environment for the development of infections.

    One can easily become cut while climbing into a boat or from the shells on the shore. Fishermen are susceptible to getting stuck not only by hooks but also by the spines of fish. These types of injuries can cause serious infections and, therefore, they should be taken seriously and properly treated.

    Wounds which occur in water-based situations have much higher infection rates than similar injuries which occur on land. Lakes, streams and the ocean contain multiple bacteria. There are likely 100 million bacteria contained within a liter of seawater. Therefore, when a wound does occur, it should be considered contaminated and potentially infected.

    While there are common bacteria such as staph and strep in water-based environments, there are also different bacteria in the water than those that are commonly found on land, and these can be much more aggressive. One such bacteria species called Vibrio produce severe skin infections that can lead to rapid skin destruction ("flesh-eating bacteria") and death in as short as 24-48 hours after injury.

    In August, a 45-year-old Jacksonville woman, Candace Scott, died from another type of flesh-eating bacteria that she contracted while riding a personal watercraft on the St. Johns River. She had sustained a cut on her leg while in the water and died a short time later. These types of infections are more common in people with weakened immune systems or chronic illnesses such as diabetes, cancer or kidney disease. Scott was recently diagnosed with diabetes.

    Wounds which occur on the water should be thoroughly cleaned with soap and water. If it is deep or a penetrating/puncture wound, this should be evaluated by a doctor to determine the need for possible surgical treatment and antibiotics. Small wounds are often left open to facilitate drainage should an infection develop despite antibiotic treatments. Especially in situations of potential foreign body penetration, such as a shell or fish spine, X-rays should be performed to make sure nothing was left behind.

    This column is written to discuss issues regarding sports, medicine and safety. It is not intended to serve as a replacement for treatment by your regular doctor. It is only designed to offer guidelines on the prevention, recognition and care of injuries and illness. Specific concerns should be discussed with your physician. Mail your questions to Gregory Smith, M.D., Sports Medicine, 1250 S. 18th Street, Suite 204, Fernandina Beach, FL 32034. For appointments, call 261-8787 or visit

  2. #2
    Site Admin Green Hulk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Morgan City, LA

  3. #3
    Happily Self-Employed WFO's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Houston, Texas

  4. #4
    Legend in my own mind Sirhc7897's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Lake Butler, FL.
    That lady had some type of diabetes i believe and as i remember they said that particular strain of bacteria was particularly dangerous to people with diabetes...

    Doesn't suprise me though...If you've seen some of the shit floating in the St. Johns and smelled it you wouldn't be suprised either...

    We're doing a survey right at the cruise ship terminal for a potential new container yard terminal and there was this greenish looking muck that washed up on the rip rap there a few months back with hundreds of little silver fish dead in it...Smelled terrible...

  5. #5
    ABBOTT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Birmingham, AL / Lay Lake
    Good lord....

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    All over
    Talking about infections; John you still got the nasty drip/itch you were talking about??? LOL :P

    Get your shots before MudBug II!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    i have gotten several nasty eye infections from riding in a certain river. also my father in law was very ill for a long time with a form of bacteria that entered a wound on his hand transmitted from handling a fish caught in the delaware bay. he made the medical magazines and journals for awhile. the infection had only been seen once before. it was a form of tuberculosis found only in a certain type of fish

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