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Bacteria kills man in South Alabama

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MOBILE, Ala. -

A deadly bacteria has claimed the life of a man in Mobile County. A second victim is in the hospital recovering after being diagnosed with Vibrio Vulnificus.

"This bacteria is killing people at a very fast and alarming rate. It's got the fishermen scared to do what they've done all their lives, which is go into the Gulf and fish and crab and shrimp and catch oysters," says Dr. Lloyd Holston, who operates Lloyd's Pharmacy in Bayou La Batre.

"I've got some people who catch oysters and they're telling me that every time they go out it's on their mind and they're catching bacteria from the water they think," he continues.

The bacteria can cause disease in those who eat raw oysters or have an open wound that's exposed to the salt water.

Symptoms include fever, chills, a decrease in blood pressure, blistering, vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain.

Recent numbers are not in yet, but between 1988 and 2006 the Center for Disease Control received reports of more than 900 infections across the Gulf Coast. Confirmed cases were in Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Texas and Mississippi.

Jessi Mitchell

Jessi joined the WRBL news team in October 2012 after working as a freelance production assistant for MTV Networks in Los Angeles.

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