How dangerous is the “killer germs”?

Fatal drowning accidents in the summer to the sad everyday life. A case of death after a bath in the Baltic sea in Germany shakes but currently, especially: A 90-Year-old was infected while Swimming with germs, and died of it. Now the fear of further cases is growing, some of the media Stoke the fear of “killer germs”.

In fact, the woman is an infection with Vibrios succumbed to. Since 1994, it is known that Vibrios occur in the Baltic sea. Where the 90-year-old woman has been infected, would like to Heiko Will, Director of the state office for social Affairs and health in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (LAGuS), however, did not disclose. He feared: “I Would call the place, I would stigmatize him.” In addition, had been established in all the coastal areas of the Baltic sea, Vibrios. But what distinguishes the exact germs? And how real is the danger for all swimmers is? The most important questions and answers in an Overview.

What Vibronen are?

Vibrios are bacteria and belong to the genus Vibrio. Because of their rod shape they are also called rod bacteria (bacilli). There are many different vibrios species. Twelve of them are known disease trigger in people. The most famous of V. cholerae, which causes the diarrheal disease Cholera, is probably. In Germany the bacterium V. vulnificus that causes wound infections, however, is.

Where are the bacteria?

Vibrios are a natural part of salt-containing waters such as the Baltic sea. In Parts of these bacteria also live in the North sea, but mainly in regions, where the salt content is through the fresh water supply is low. At low temperatures, the Vibrios in the sea floor life. A rise in temperature of the water to more than 20 degrees favors the growth and spread of bacteria. To prevent its spread, however, is hardly possible, according to a report by the Federal office for the environment.

How dangerous Vibrios for the people?

People with chronic pre-existing conditions such as Diabetes and a weakened immune system are considered to be risk group. Age also plays a role. “The older, the weaker the immune system,” explains Heiko Wants. Therefore, people have become ill over fifty have a higher risk of a Vibrio infection than younger groups of people. People with weakened immune systems suffer more from the disease.

Symptoms and course of disease depend on how the pathogens get into the body. Even small injuries to the skin rich in the bacteria as an entry. In people with a weakened immune system then it comes to a wound infection. In the further course of the bacteria in the body and lead to life-threatening blood poisoning. In 60 percent of cases, this is fatal. Diarrhea and fever are the bacteria that cause, if they are to be taken over seafood or drinking water. Danger to life does not exist in this case.

Up to the outbreak of the infectious disease 12 to 72 hours can pass.

How can you protect yourself from infection?

The Federal environment Agency is calling on Doctors and authorities, bathers and patients to indicate the danger posed by Vibrios. Experts advise people with weakened immune systems, chronic illnesses or injuries to avoid contact with contaminated water. Anyone who is not sure whether Vibrios for a swim in the water, you should check with the relevant health authorities.

If you are staying in the South of Europe, should abstain from Sushi and seafood, so Want to. There the temperatures are higher and thus the probability of being infected with the bacteria.

Help, I’m infected – now what?

Because an infection was previously considered rare, or too late to be Vibrione recognized as a cause of severe wound infections often. In the case of suspected infection by the bacterium Concerned should inform your doctor on contact with water. Suspected, administer Doctors confirmed an antibiotic. In the worst case, a wound infection must be treated with a surgical procedure.

As viele of infection and deaths there so far?

Since 2003, the LAGuS registered cases of Vibrio infections. The information provided by the country office, according to the number of infections has not increased, but by leaps and bounds. In the last 16 years, a total of 51 people infected, eight have died of the consequences. “In light of the approximately 90 million swimmers have made since the 2003 holiday on the Baltic sea,” says Heiko Wants to, “the number is very low.”