If the heat continues, scientists warn that hot bacteria may be present in bath water. They recommend bringing a useful aid in your swim bag.
– This is delicious water. Refreshing. Now we hear that the water may contain flesh-eating bacteria, but we feel pretty safe, say Helen Strand (48) and her daughter Silje Strand Gundersen (19).
There are flesh-eating bacteria in the ocean that can rent infected wounds and are now thriving.
Vibrio vulnificus, Shewanella putrefaciens and Vibrio parahaemolyticus are the most important, says Øivind Bergh, senior researcher at the Institute of Marine Research:
– Sea temperatures of 18-20 degrees and above – true heat waves according to Norwegian conditions – create a risk of bacteria-like infections in humans, says Øivind Bergh, senior researcher at the Norwegian Institute of Marine Research.
– They’re very affectionate, so it’s rare in Norway, but warmer seas mean we can expect a few more cases of them, says Berg.
Bacteria are popularly known as “carnivores”.
In recent weeks, warmer weather has increased swimming temperatures and that increases the risk.
– Berg says what helps is avoiding bathing if you have open wounds and tears that aren’t healing.
Bath shoes help fight off flesh-eating bacteria
He also has a helpful tip on what to bring in your bag to make bathing a lot safer:
– Using swim shoes helps you avoid cutting yourself, she says.
Helen and Silje Strand say they usually bring swimming shoes in their bag, but this time they forgot them. VG meets them at Ingeerstrand in Follo, where they relax before work and finish school in the afternoon. The place is known, among other things, for its 10 meter high diving tower.
– Here it is better to jump from the ship or diving tower, it goes well. They say we will bring swimming shoes next time, only then will it be safe to wade.
They estimate the bathing temperature to be between 16 and 18 degrees.
According to the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, the flesh-eating Vibrio bacterium has a few tricks up its sleeve to attack the body.
– Illness can occur when bacteria enter through a skin wound during bathing and spread further throughout the body, Ettore Amatau, a senior adviser at the Institute of Public Health, writes in an email to VG.
Amatao says the bacterium can lead to a more serious infection that develops quickly.
Vibrio bacteria are invisible and cannot be identified by smell or taste. In other words, you can swim in the midst of bacteria – to find out for yourself.
It is particularly at risk along the coast in southern Norway. On that day, Yar Bhavam Overview of bath temperatureThe thermometer already shows 20 degrees in many places in southern Norway.
If you are unlucky in the water, clean the wound with clean, fresh water.
infection? Go to the doctor as soon as possible
Amatao says symptoms often begin within a day of infection.
– The skin in the affected area is red and swollen.
He says the swollen area will expand quickly.
– If you get an infection in a wound, especially if it develops quickly, you should see a doctor as soon as possible.
People who are immunocompromised, those with liver disease and the elderly are especially susceptible to serious infections, but healthy people can also get sick from the bacteria, Amatao says.
If you have an open wound, it’s best to stay on the ground – or cover it completely with a waterproof dressing.
Where are the flesh-eating bacteria?
– The brackish water along the coast is the most exposed. In other words, salt water, but with a small admixture of fresh water from land. Øivind Bergh of the Institute of Marine Research says that these bacteria need some salt, so they are not found in fresh water.
He stresses that fresh water can cause problems with other types of bacteria in the heat, the usual source being animal feces.
He died after eating oysters
Swimming is not the only time you can get infected with dangerous bacteria. A 54-year-old man in Missouri, US, died of bacteria on Friday after eating raw oysters. AP News.
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