Could This Flesh-Eating Pathogen Be in the Waterways of Montana?
Growing up on a ranch, I drank from the creek that ran through the property. Never once was I worried about or warned about anything like a flesh-eating bacterium. Sure, we were always told to make sure there weren't cows doing their business upstream while getting a drink, but now, there is an all-new type of bacteria that is making its way into waterways from the south to the northeast parts of the United States. Could we see them coming to Montana anytime soon?
What Is This Pathogen That Is Wreaking Havoc in Waterways?
Popular Mechanics recently noted the influx of new reports of a flesh-eating bacterium that was invading the northeast. This bacterium known as "vibrio vulnificas", was first reported in southern states, but this year has made its way into Connecticut and New York. Primarily it thrives in more warm waters, and even on shellfish.
The incredibly scary part about this pathogen is that it can kill within one to two days if a person becomes infected.
Living Where the Air Hurts Our Face May Save Us This Time
Each year, Montana experiences hot enough temperatures to warrant shutting down some of our waterways to fishing access. However, the temps that are needed for this bacterium need to last longer than what we have for a season in Montana currently. That doesn't mean that it couldn't be transported to us via someone or something. However, the longevity of it lasting in our waterways probably isn't going to happen soon.
Rising temperatures are a concern though, as the average temps continue to rise across our region, the United States and the world.