3 dead, 16 sick from Vibrio in Florida

A newly reported Vibrio vulnificus case in Charlotte County, Florida, the county’s third case, brings the states total to 16, according to the latest numbers released from the Florida Department of Health today.

SUN0705N-Oyster7The total number of fatalities reported in the state remains unchanged at three. 

People can get infected with Vibrio vulnificus when they eat raw shellfish, particularly oysters. The bacterium is frequently isolated from oysters and other shellfish in warm coastal waters during the summer months. Since it is naturally found in warm marine waters, people with open wounds can be exposed to Vibrio vulnificus through direct contact with seawater. There is no evidence of person-to-person transmission of Vibrio vulnificus.

Vibrio vulnificus is a rare cause of disease, but it is also underreported. Between 1988 and 2006, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) received reports of more than 900 Vibrio vulnificus infections from the Gulf Coast states, where most cases occur. In 2013, Florida reported a total of 41 V. vulnificus cases, including 12 deaths.