(WSVN) - Beaches in Florida are already swamped by seaweed, but now a new trait in a flesh-eating bacteria is raising concerns.

“This is not a new bacteria, but it’s a new aggressive ability for this bacteria to attach to the plastic and to be on our Sargassum,” said Dr. Tim Laird, Chief Medical Officer at Heath First Medical Group.

The aggressive nature of this bacteria found in the seaweed blob hitting Florida beaches is causing concerns for doctors and beachgoers.

“This infection can be aggressive and that’s when we called it a so-called flesh-eating bacteria,” said Dr. Laird.

“Flesh-eating bacteria, I don’t know what it is but I’m afraid of it so I’m not going to take a chance on it,” said Maria Sanchez, Brevard County resident.

Dr. Laird advised people to avoid going to the beach if they have any cuts or open wounds.

“It’s petrifying, that’s all I need to get a cut, that’s all, forget about it,” said another resident.

In 2022, the Department of Health said there were four cases of flesh-eating bacteria in Brevard County and one person even died from an infection.

It’s not just a concern related to open wounds, you can also find the bacteria in food.

“I would recommend against eating raw or undercooked seafood, especially shellfish,” said Dr. Laird.

If you think you have eaten something related to seaweed that is making you sick you should consult your doctor.

The Department of Health said untreated cases of flesh-eating bacteria are fatal about 50% of the time.

“If it gets infected you definitely need to tell your medical provider, that it may have been exposed to seawater or brackish water because it could contain vibrio and that takes special antibiotics to treat,” said Dr.Laird.

Doctors said Florida beaches are still safe, but those who have a weak immune system need to be extra careful when visiting.

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