Warmer waters (contributed to climate change) are fueling the spread of a rare ‘flesh-eating’ bacteria up the East Coast.

Vibrio Vulnificus is a potentially deadly ocean-dwelling bacteria capable of causing “flesh-eating” infections. Exposure to the bacteria through wounds, bites, or cuts can cause necrotizing fasciitis. Its origins stem from the same family as the one that causes cholera.

Although infections from these bacteria are rare, they can be life-threatening, killing as many as one in five infected and within 48 hours of falling ill.

The researchers said infections used to be localized to the Gulf of Mexico and along the southern Atlantic coast and were rare north of Georgia, but an analysis of CDC data revealed they have been steadily moving northwards and can now be found as far north as Philadelphia.

Here’s what you need to know about this increasing threat.