Florida health officials say at least eight people have been infected by a rare flesh-eating bacteria that lives in warm seawater. According to the Florida Department of Health, at least two deaths have been reported from the Vibrio vulnificus bacterium. Officials are warning beachgoers not to enter the water if they have fresh cuts or scrapes. They also say that those who have immunocompromised (for example, those with: chronic liver disease, kidney disease, or weakened immune system), should wear foot protection to prevent cuts from rocks and shells on the beach. For those individuals, the "bacterium can invade the bloodstream, causing a severe and life-threatening illness with symptoms like fever, chills, decreased blood pressure (septic shock) and blistering skin lesions." When the bacterium enters an open wound, infections can lead to skin breakdown and ulcers. Those who eat contaminated seafood can also get infected, health officials said. Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain. Counties that have reported cases of Vibrio vulnificus in 2015 include Brevard (fatal), Brevard (2), Duval, Marion (fatal), Pasco, Santa Rosa and St. Lucie. There were 32 cases of the bacteria reported in 2014; seven of those were fatal. Florida health officials say the following are some tips to avoid Vibrio vulnificus infections: Do not eat raw oysters or other raw shellfish. Cook shellfish (oysters, clams, mussels) thoroughly. For shellfish in the shell, either a) boil until the shells open and continue boiling for 5 more minutes, or b) steam until the shells open and then continue cooking for 9 more minutes. Do not eat those shellfish that do not open during cooking. Boil shucked oysters at least 3 minutes, or fry them in oil at least 10 minutes at 375°F. Avoid cross-contamination of cooked seafood and other foods with raw seafood and juices from raw seafood. Eat shellfish promptly after cooking and refrigerate leftovers. Avoid exposure of open wounds or broken skin to warm salt or brackish water, or to raw shellfish harvested from such waters. Wear protective clothing (e.g., gloves) when handling raw shellfish.