Calvert County, MD health officials have reported at least five Vibrio vulnificus infections linked to the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries this summer.  Vibrio is a bacteria that naturally live in the bay, rivers, and creeks that surround Calvert County.

Image/CDC
Image/CDC

Persons who have wounds, cuts or scratches and wade in estuarine areas or seawater where the bacteria might be present can become ill.Symptoms of Vibrio vulnificus in wound infections typically include swelling, pain and redness at the wound site.

Other symptoms of Vibrio vulnificus infection include; nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, fever, chills, and the formation of blistering skin lesions. Individuals experiencing these symptoms should contact a physician immediately for diagnosis and treatment. For more infectious disease news and information, visit and “like” the Infectious Disease News Facebook page

Individuals with liver disease, including Hepatitis C and cirrhosis, are most at risk for developing serious illness from Vibrio vulnificus obtained from eating raw oysters. Others who should avoid consuming raw shellfish are those with hemochromatosis (iron overload), diabetes, cancer, stomach disorders or any illness or treatment that weakens the immune system. Thoroughly cooking oysters, either by frying, stewing, or roasting eliminates harmful bacteria and viruses in the meat. Consuming raw oysters that have undergone a post-harvest treatment process to eliminate the bacteria can also reduce the risk of illness.

Related story: Florida health officials try to clear up Vibrio myths

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