Reports that there were flesh eating bacteria in the Gulf of Mexico from an Atlanta meteorologist on Wednesday caused a media frenzy and have panhandle vacationers scared. The reporter went on to say that there were “really toxic levels of a fecal bacteria”, which he then explained was “flesh-eating bacteria.”
However, the reporter was incorrect.
The Florida Department of Health for Okaloosa County was recently testing the water for bacteria and detected higher than normal levels of Enterococci (fecal bacteria) which they reported. Enterococci is not the same thing as vibrio vulnificus (flesh-eating bacteria). The levels were not high enough to close any beaches.
Long story short, it’s safe to go swimming in Destin!
Here’s the video that caused the social media uproar: