Vibrio vulnificus is a rod-shaped bacterium that can cause life-threatening infection (Image credit: BSIP/Contributor via Getty Images)

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a health alert warning people about the risks of flesh-eating bacteria across the U.S. East Coast after five people died following infection. 

One person in Connecticut, another in New York and three people in North Carolina, died between July and August this year as a result of infection with Vibrio vulnificus, a deadly species of bacteria that lives in coastal waters. 

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