Jessica Kirshenbaum, a woman from Naples, says that she recently caught a bacterial infection at Tigertail Beach on Marco Island. Jessica wanted to go shelling again after Hurricane Ian, so she and her friend decided to test the waters.
Wearing drysuit booties, the water was up to her knees, and she usually shells four times a week. After their first beach trip, Jessica and her friend noticed a minor rash on their legs.
One of her friends suggested applying aloe to help with the rash, which seemed to be improving. However, just one day later, Kirshenbaum noticed her rash spreading up her legs, accompanied by a painful burning sensation.
Fearing that she might have a flesh-eating bacteria problem, Kirshenbaum rushed to the ER and was quickly diagnosed with a bacterial infection instead. She was told that the dangerous waters must have caused the infection after Hurricane Ian.
According to doctors, Jessica had been stung by sea lice, a type of jellyfish. The sting had damaged her skin and allowed bacteria from Hurricane Ian to enter her body, resulting in the infection.
Although Jessica's friend did not catch an infection despite shelling at Tigertail Beach alongside her, this shows how different people can react to the same environment.
Despite being prescribed multiple medications to treat the infection, including an antibiotic, Jessica is hoping for a full and speedy recovery. In the meantime, she urges other beachgoers to be cautious when swimming in these waters.