It doesn't have the cachet of bird flu or SARS.
But the number of cases of Vibrio vulnificus, a bacteria found in warm seawater that can cause severe gastrointestinal illness, skin lesions and even death, reportedly is increasing in parts of the country.
Some researchers are pointing to increased water temperature and salinity where shellfish are harvested in summer as a reason for higher contamination rates in states around the Gulf Coast and Chesapeake Bay.
And as an addendum to this, a Nacogdoches, Texas man who was infected by flesh-eating bacteria while swimming off Galveston County's Crystal Beach still faces the threat of losing a leg — and possibly his life — despite three surgeries.
Steve Gilpatrick is fighting necrotizing fasciitis, a tissue-destroying disease caused by Vibrio vulnificus. The retired oil company marketing consultant also is suffering from multiple organ failure because the disease has caused a blood infection.