When will our medical community step and do something about people getting sick and dying in the Indian River Lagoon?
I just want to say THANK YOU to our TC Palm reporters and also to Eye on Miami for actually paying attention to this issue and being a supportive voice and advocate for our Indian River Lagoon.
Three years ago we were talking about this. Before I even got involved in the water but doing research for a potential documentary I read reports about people going into the water and getting sick and dying. Then when we got organized and starting talking to each even more information came forward. One of our local citizens has been collecting data but there is really nothing that is out there and a part of our hospital system and health department.
Here is Robert Lord from Martin Memorial talking about our unhealthy water at our rally last year.
Our friend, Cliff Barnes suggested we called it Lagoon water born flesh rot disease after Gov. Scott. I said “Rick Rot.” Some people said “Rick Scott Rot.”
Some one even invented this.
(Here is the website https://www.facebook.com/PrepConsultantsPC/app_410312912374011?hc_location=ufi)
Last year this happened.
Bill Benton went swimming in the Indian River Lagoon on a Saturday afternoon. He was dead by Tuesday, a rare fatality from Vibrio vulnificus bacteria.
The bacteria occurs naturally throughout the lagoon year-round, but infections increase in summer, according to researchers at Florida Atlantic University’s Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute in Fort Pierce.
Benton was among seven people who died from Vibrio vulnificus in Florida in 2014. It’s unknown whether Vibrio vulnificus is to blame in the July 20 death of Port St. Lucie resident David Trudell, two days after a fin fish punctured him while fishing in the lagoon. Doctors attributed his death to the incident, but did not determine what type of bacteria it was.
Then this happened.
We all knew what it was.
“A 65-year-old Port St. Lucie man died Monday, two days after being stuck by a fish fin while fishing in the Indian River Lagoon.
David John Trudell died from a blood infection as a result of a bacteria that entered his body because of the fin prick, said Treasure Coast medical examiner Dr. Roger Mittleman.
The type of bacteria could not be determined, Mittleman said.”
Why were there no blood cultures drawn at the time?
Then it happened to one of our own River Warriors. Because our friend Gayle posted the above article our friend Barb took her husband Bruce to the ER.
She wrote this
Took Bruce to the ER yesterday for an infected left leg. He had a sore on his knee on Monday, went in the IRL on Wednesday. We took several church families out on our new catamaran and anchored off Sailfish point (near the Walgreen house). Of course they all jumped into the IRL from the deck of the boat.
Yesterday Bruce’s knee and leg was black and swollen, hot to the touch and oozing. He had a fever. He NEVER complains of pain but I forced him to the ER. GOOD thing. The doctor thinks it is a blood infection from the bacteria from the IRL water on Wednesday. We will get the culture back on Monday to see what the bacteria actually is.
Gayle Ryan’s link to the TC Palm article regarding the local man who died within two days of a fish fin puncture bringing in bacteria from the IRL into his system, probably saved Bruce’s life. I wouldn’t have taken a closer second look at Bruce’s knee had I not read her article link. The doctor lanced and drained the “volcano” the size of a grapefruit on his knee. His whole leg was swollen and hot to the touch.
Today Bruce’s leg ‘s swelling is down and it is not throbbing anymore. He is on Bactrim and Keflex. Doctor said he was so correct to come into the ER when he did, could have become so dangerous to Bruce. Thank you Gayle Ryan.”
It looked like this.
Here’s is a great piece from our friend at Eye on Miami.
“This post on Face Book should remind Miami that the current water crisis is not just one in a series of crises: it is a cumulative event where impacts are compounded. The mismanagement of fresh water resources in South Florida is mainly to benefit the big campaign contributors to state legislators and to Gov. Rick Scott. Big Sugar.
In a just world, state legislators would be made to swim in the Indian River Lagoon, then see how much they like gambling with people’s water to benefit their patrons.”
You got that right Mista Gimleteye!
A friend of mine asked me if I would go on the news. I said no. This is not about me. What I will say is our local Health Department and People running the hospital need to read the newspaper. Then they need to come up with a plan to alert the physicians in the area and come up with some sort of tracking system and people need to be warned before they go in the water. I know that everyone has a lot on their plates but this is something we have to do. What if I didn’t know any of this and my grandson had a cut and I took him in the lagoon and he died?
You can check the salinity level
“Water quality sensors in the lagoon and its tributaries can’t detect the deadly bacteria’s presence, but the salinity level is a good indicator of whether there’s Vibrio. The bacteria can’t live in saltwater, but thrives in stagnant, nearshore, freshwater — particularly near rainfall runoff discharges.”
Really so the millions of gallons of freshwater discharges have nothing to do with that? Really?
SFWMD and ACOE you need to be aware. After all we have begged you to fix the issue with the discharges. It comes down to one thing: Salinity of the water. So besides all the other damage that you do we can add killing people to the list.
So we know this
“Healthy people who boat, fish and swim in the Indian River Lagoon are not likely to get a potentially deadly bacterial infection, especially if they take certain precautions, according to a researcher conducting a premier study of Vibrio vulnificus.
It’s people with cuts and weak immune systems like the elderly, infants, alcoholics, diabetics and those with other long-term illnesses who are at most risk and need to take the threat most seriously.”
HEALTHY PEOPLE ARE NOT LIKELY TO GET AN INFECTION! NOT LIKELY.
“The people most likely to get it — in this order — are: lagoon fishermen, seafood processors and waders or swimmers.”
And the longer this vacuum persists, the greater the threat to Treasure Coast residents who swim, boat, wade, paddleboard and fish in the waterway.
“The bacteria, which is also found in estuaries like the St. Lucie and St. Sebastian rivers, occurs naturally and is not linked to pollution, Barbarite said. Quantities vary depending on climatic conditions.”
But it is connected to the Salinity of the water which also is what kills everything else like our oysters. So by forcing millions of gallons of fresh water down the river into the lagoon the salinity is changed.
“Most likely in spots near freshwater discharges.”
“29.5 percent of cases resulted in deaths (2004-13)”
People affected: Those with Alcohol Abuse, Liver Disease, Diabetes, Heart Disease
I can’t wait to see the spin. Because just two years ago we were assured there was nothing wrong with the water.
“and the longer this vacuum persists, the greater the threat to Treasure Coast residents who swim, boat, wade, paddleboard and fish in the waterway.
Two recent incidents — one fatal — have ratcheted up the importance of identifying the microbial culprits, case by case, and establishing cause-and-effect relationships between exposure to tainted lagoon water and bacterial infections.”
“Health officials and health care providers need to get ahead of the issue. Given the fact doctors don’t have a protocol for testing or reporting waterborne illnesses, it’s easy to see why so many questions remain unanswered.”
It should be standard procedure for doctors to report all suspected cases of waterborne illnesses to the Florida Department of Health.
Moreover, this information needs to be collected in a database. Over time, this knowledge may reveal trends that prove beneficial in protecting lagoon aficionados and treating those who contract waterborne infections.”
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” Salt is the key to safe water.” by Tyler Treadway
I’ll post the link when I can find the article. According to Gabrille Barbarite death are rare but how do we even know this if no one is reporting or logging water born illnesses? So I would refraise that to ” We have no earthly idea how many people have gotten sick from the Indian River Lagoon.”
“Some areas of the lagoon are safer than others.”
You can check the LOBO and Kilroy water sensors.
But keep in mind salinity can change with rain or out going tide.
What do we need now?
Our local lawmakers need to all talk to our health departments and our hospitals and doctors and urgent cares and come up with some kind of reporting system.
Warnings need to be posted for people with immune system disorders, alcoholics, people with liver diseases, diabetes, heart disease , the elderly and infants etc. We have this information now. We have a duty to warn people.
Our wonderful Dr Edie Widder from Orca said in this piece that she suspects these cases have gone unreported for years. She also said she does not think that clinics and doctors are not taking the time to culture the bacteria. How hard is that? One Agar plate zoom zoom zoom done! Or a blood culture. 2 second blood draw.
The world has gone a little wild and we have seen it up close and personal this past year with our legislators. Lets not let this happen with the people are suppose to be taking care of us. I’m sure there is a grant out there that someone can get to do what needs to be done and there are plenty of volunteers in the medical field that would be willing to help.
If we don’t speak up nothing will be done.
Where do we start? Please add your suggestions to this blog post!
Let’s make this happen.