Nightly News   |  October 12, 2013

Deadly bacteria at the beach

A deadly bacterium found in warm, salty water already has killed 10 people this year. NBC’s Mark Potter reports.

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>>> in florida and the gulf coast about a deadly bacteria found in warm salt water . officials say it's killed ten people this year and infected more than 20 years. we get more now from nbc's mark potter .

>> reporter: henry kinetski used to love to fish and wade for crabs and was doing it last month in florida . after he got home his wife saw something wrong.

>> during the night he woke up. there was a small abrasion on his ankle. we thought it was a spider bite .

>> reporter: by morning he was in terrible pain and was rushed to the hospital as the infection spread.

>> it just -- are a varavaged his body so fast.

>> reporter: two days later he died. the victim of a flesh eating bacteria which is commonly found in warm salt water . doctors say there are two ways to be infected.

>> one is from an open sore on the body. typically the legs where you walk into the warm salt water , brackish water or the gulf.

>> reporter: it can also happen eating uncooked tainted shell fish like oysters. there have been ten deaths. last year nine. the year before, 13. the cases of infection this year were reported in 22 florida counties . the deaths occurred in nine of the counties. the centers for disease control says the threat extend s from florida all along the gulf coast to texas. doctors say this bacteria can be especially dangerous for people with already compromised immune systems . but for most people there is little to worry about. experts caution swimmers and fishermen with cuts or sores to stay out of the water and urge people, especially those already unhealthy, to cook their shellfish to avoid the warm water threat. mark potter , nbc news, miami.