Virginia woman may lose finger from flesh-eating bacteria

DUNNSVILLE, Va. (AP) — A Virginia woman may lose her finger after contracting a flesh-eating bacteria, or “vibrio vulnificus,” while swimming in a river.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that 61-year-old Jane Durvin took her grandchildren swimming on Sunday at the Rappahannock River, a day after her cat had scratched her finger.

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Durvin says on Monday she was in the hospital with a swollen, throbbing hand. She says doctors diagnosed her with a vibrio infection. She says on Wednesday her middle finger turned “black and cold.” If antibiotics don’t work, Durvin’s finger may need to be amputated.

The Virginia Department of Health says that to avoid contracting vibrio, people with open wounds or compromised immune systems shouldn’t swim in salt or brackish water. Infections can also result from eating raw or undercooked seafood, particularly shellfish.

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