A sixth case of Vibrio involving a Mobile County resident has been reported to the Mobile County Health Department. The individual was off-shore — not in Gulf Coastal waters — when they received an open wound while in water containing the bacteria. The species has been identified as Vibrio parahaemolyticus.

Mobile County
Mobile County, Alabama map (in red)/David Benbennick

This makes six documented cases for 2017 involving Mobile County residents. The first case dealt with a Mobile County resident who consumed raw oysters in another state in March.

The second incident took place in April, and also involved the consumption of raw oysters while in Mobile County. An investigation confirmed that the oysters were imported from another state and were not harvested locally.

LISTEN: Vibrio vulnificus: An interview with Dr Judy Stone

Two other cases took place during June and came from wound exposure while in bodies of waters near Dauphin Island, the Mississippi Sound and Mobile Bay.

The fifth case of Vibrio was reported at the end of July. Despite intensive research, not enough information was available to pinpoint an exact source for the bacteria, which was identified as Vibrio cholerae non 01-0139. Investigators said the mystery of where the patient came in contact with the bacteria may never be solved.

Of the first four reports, two cases were identified as Vibrio vulnificus, while one was Vibrio parahaemolyticus and the other was Vibrio fluvialis. According to the Centers of Disease Control & Prevention, about a dozen Vibrio species can cause human illness, known as vibriosis.

All of the cases involving Mobile County residents have been considered mild, and have not involved the serious bacterial skin infection “necrotizing fasciitis.”