While much of the nation's headlines have been turned toward shark attacks, here in Louisiana we have our own killer of the deep. Okay, maybe it's not the really deep but it can be just as deadly as a shark attack too. The difference, we can prevent this one by taking some simple precautions before getting into the water.

Flesh eating bacteria are prevalent in Louisiana waters. Actually the bacteria can be found almost anywhere along the Gulf Coast.  The most likely places you'll encounter these microscopic killers is in salt water or the brackish waters near the coast.  What does the bacteria look for in its next victim? An open wound. That's right a cut or a sore that is not covered properly could be the gateway to some serious medical complications.

State Health Officer Dr. Jimmy Guidry told the Louisiana Radio Network what we should pay attention to this weekend.

If you have children with you and they have an open wound, check them before they get into the water to make sure that wound is covered to where water can't enter it because the bacteria is pretty prevalent in the summertime.

So far there have been four reported cases in the state this year. Dr. Guidry reminds bathers to be mindful of wounds that begin to show signs of infection. It is very important that a health care professional assess this situation as soon as possible.

Get that checked earlier rather than later because it is something we can do something about but preventing it is a lot easier than trying to treat it.

Every year state officials document between five and fifteen cases of the malady. Persons with open wounds or weakened immune systems might want to check with their health care provider before taking a dip this summer.

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