As seawater warms, cases of flesh-eating bacteria increase

As surface water temperatures warm due to climate change, a flesh-eating bacteria known as Vibrio vulnificus is moving into northern waters that are typically cold, such as the Delaware Bay, warns an infectious disease expert at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School. Vibrio vulnificus is a bacterium that causes an infection that “eats” the body’s soft tissue. It enters the body through an open wound while swimming in natural water or from contaminated seafood.

Signs that you may have contracted the bacteria are similar to those of a severe skin infection. The area may be very inflamed and red with blisters or blue with a dark bruise. Fever is common. The majority of contaminations cause symptoms similar to food poisoning but some progress to the point of hospitalization, and about 100 people die from Vibrio vulnificus every year. Health experts recommend avoiding natural water if you have open wounds, especially if you also have a compromised immune system. Cooking seafood well before consumption and washing hands thoroughly after handling raw seafood are also important steps to take in order to avoid contracting the bacteria.

Vomiting vultures take over couple’s vacation home in Florida

A couple from New York, who purchased a luxury vacation home in Florida earlier this year, claims that their home has been taken over by vultures that are vomiting and defecating around the property, rendering it virtually unlivable. The Casimano family, who owns the home, describes the smell produced by the vultures as “one thousand rotting corpses” and says that the few times they have been able to visit the home they’ve had to park their car in the garage to avoid the pecking vultures. A neighbor of the Casimano’s, Cheryl Katz, told the Palm Beach Post that the vultures broke into her pool enclosure and couldn’t get out, calling it a “vile, vicious, traumatic event.” 

Both families blame the destructive vultures on a neighbor who they say is feeding them and other wildlife excessively. They say that the neighbor has given bags of dog food and a roasted chicken to the scavengers. A neighborhood association representative says that the neighbor feeding the vultures has been warned but that there’s not much they can do because vultures are migratory birds and protected by federal law. 

NC releases draft clean energy plan, seeks public input

Last year, NC Governor Roy Cooper issued an Executive Order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the state by 40 percent. In complying with that order, the NC DEQ has released a draft clean energy plan that increases the utilization of clean energy technologies, energy efficiency measures and clean technology. The DEQ is seeking feedback on a range of issues addressed in the plan, including:

  • Ways to ensure everyone in the state, including underserved communities, have access to clean, reliable and affordable energy.
  • The role of emerging technologies, such as solar, wind and energy efficiency and ways to lower the cost of those technologies.
  • Creating a reliable and resilient power grid in the face of increasingly severe weather.
  • Transitioning the state into a clean energy economy.

The public is invited to view the full plan and comment until September 9. The final plan will be submitted to Governor Cooper by October 1.