With festivals, open parks, and lots of exposed skin, summer is definitely the season with the most physical contact. When you're with your summer lover, such proximity can be more than welcome. But when you're in the vicinity of a deadly flesh-eating bacteria? Not so much.
Necrotizing Fasciitis is an aggressive form of Strep A, the common bacteria found in human noses that causes nasty throat infections. When the virus enters the blood stream, it ravages the flesh, often necessitating amputation.
Instances of the flesh-eating bacreria are unsettlingly common in Canada. Just last year, London, Ontario saw an outbreak that killed nine and left even more disabled.
The American Center For Disease Control (CDC) warns that the most frequent medium of transmission is shared bodies of water. The center's website specifically advises people with open wounds to avoid "whirlpools, hot tubs, swimming pools, and natural bodies of water."
With such an severe heat wave hitting the city of Montreal this week, it's worth remembering that the bacteria can lurk in some of the most popular public cooling destinations like municipal pools and the Saint Lawrence river.
Symptoms include sudden onset fever and vomiting. You only really need to worry if you have an exposed wound, but knowing the warning signs could save the life of a fellow swimmer.
Stay safe out there, folks!