This may essentially be another a story about how climate change sucks, but there's also a telling libertarian twist to it that should concern anyone considering swimming off Florida's beaches.
According to Adam Weinstein's story in Gawker today, flesh-eating bacteria in Florida waters, which "cause ulceration and rapid skin decay and is fatal in about 50 percent of people who get it in their bloodstreams," killed almost one person a month last year.
While Florida has warned generally about this deadly danger, which is "naturally occurring and tends to flare up in the summer" when the water gets warmer, it does nothing to actually test its waters for this or any other bacteria:
Florida doesn't typically require beach shutdowns for bacteria infestations; in fact, 59 percent of its beaches aren't tested for bacteria levels; the others rely on federal funding to carry out periodical tests. But hey, only the strong survive in a libertarian paradise!
This particular bacteria is especially dangerous for those with weak immune systems -- like the millions of older people who have retired to Florida for the tropical climate and low taxes-- and anyone with an "open wound."
A linked story from the Broward-Palm Beach New Times (an alternative newspaper, naturally) advises:
So basically, if you have a weak immune system, or an open wound, best to avoid the water for now.
Also too, avoid eating raw shellfish from Florida waters, which can contain the killer bug.
I would go a bit further -- if you don't want to meet up with flesh-eating bacteria, don't go to Florida until it does far more to limit exposure to and warn about a nasty way to die there.