Citing ten to 15 cases in Louisiana each year, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries advised saltwater anglers to be aware of the potential dangers of vibrio vulnificus bacteria.
Fatal about 50 percent of the time, the flesh-eating bacteria causes skin breakdown and ulceration, according to a release.
The majority of Louisiana cases come from skin contact with seawater and the consumption of raw seafood, especially people who are immuno-compromised and who have chronic liver disease.
The release states that people with these pre-existing medical conditions are 80 times more likely to develop the bloodstream infection than healthy people.
Fishermen in saltwater should carry basic disinfectant (chlorine bleach mixed 1 part bleach to 4 parts fresh water or tincture of iodine or antibiotic ointment) and apply it if the skin is punctured while handling fishing tackle, bait or fish.
Wade fishermen who injure themselves, breaking the skin and expose a wound to saltwater,need to take the same precautions, the release states.
If ulceration and rapid swelling around the wound is noted, seek medical help as soon as possible.
For more information on vibrio vulnificus, click here.