A flesh-eating bacteria related to cholera has terrified beach goers along the Southern US coast as reports of amputated limbs and deaths from the previously rare infection begin to mount. The Vibrio Vulnificis bacteria is infects humans who eat infected shellfish or who expose cuts and abrasions to infected water. It is most common after rain events wash water from estuaries and swamps into warm sea water. The nutrient and pollutant laden waters of US rivers and the toxic state of the Gulf of Mexico have combined to allow a number of pathogens to flourish. Rumours that the Vibrio bacteria was genetically modified and released under the name Cynthia to consume oil released from the BP spill in 2010 have not been confirmed.