Concerns over bacteria in the Gulf

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OKALOOSA COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - One woman's story about her father dying after going to the beach in Destin has gone viral on Facebook. It's the second claim out of Destin in just a matter of weeks about flesh-eating diseases.

One woman is raising concerns after she says her father contracted a flesh-eating disease after swimming in the Gulf. (WJHG/WECP)

But officials stress that it's still safe to go to the beach in Destin.

The Department of Health sent us a statement with some tips on how to prevent the types of infections that may lead to a flesh-eating disease.

First, if you have an open wound avoid going to the beach. Also, you'll want to properly clean and bandage any type of wound immediately with clean, warm water and soap if you do go in the water with an open wound.

If you develop symptoms of infection, seek medical treatment right away.

Okaloosa County officials are echoing that statement and say they're working closely with the Department of Health.

"Look yourself over for cuts and scrapes. If you have a weakened immune system due to any sort of medical condition be aware of that and [do] not go in the water if you have something like that that can put you at risk. This is a very safe place to be and it's even safer when you're prepared," said Christopher Saul, Okaloosa County's Public Information Officer.

The Department of Health says if you have a healthy immune system and no open cuts or wounds, you are safe to go to the beach.

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