There has been a total of four cases of vibriosis reported to the Mobile County Health Department (MCHD) during 2023. Two of those cases reported injuries that were exposed to waters connected to the Gulf of Mexico. The latest one was identified as Vibrio vulnificus.
“To reduce your chance of getting vibriosis, don’t eat raw or undercooked shellfish, such as oysters,” said Dr. Kevin Philip Michaels, Health Officer of Mobile County. “If you have a wound — including from a recent surgery, piercing, or tattoo — avoid contact with salt water or brackish water or cover the wound with a waterproof bandage if there’s a possibility it could come into contact with salt water or brackish water, raw seafood, or raw seafood juices.”
Vibrio bacteria naturally live in certain coastal waters and are present in higher concentrations between May and October when water temperatures are warmer. However, the bacteria can be present throughout the year in some areas. While Vibrio bacteria can enter the body through a break in the skin, it can also come from consuming contaminated seafood.
• Avoid eating raw or undercooked shellfish. Cook foods to recommended temperatures.
• Avoid exposure of open wounds (including cuts and scrapes) to salt and brackish waters.
If a person gets a cut while in the water, immediately wash the wound with soap and fresh water. If the wound shows any signs of infection (redness, pain, and/or swelling) or the cut is deep, seek medical attention immediately.
During 2022, there were six cases of vibriosis reported to MCHD.
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