In a follow-up on the Vibrio parahaemolyticus outbreak linked to conch meat in the Bahamas, Health Minister Dr. Duane Sands says the number of confirmed cases has risen to 27, according to local media.
In addition, there are 22 cases awaiting lab results. Among those now suffering from the illness are tourists.
Vibrio parahaemolyticus is a bacterium in the same family as those that cause cholera. It lives in brackish saltwater and causes gastrointestinal illness in humans. V. parahaemolyticus naturally inhabits coastal waters in the United States and Canada and is present in higher concentrations during summer.
V. parahaemolyticus causes watery diarrhea often with abdominal cramping, nausea, vomiting, fever and chills. Usually these symptoms occur within 24 hours of ingestion. Illness is usually self-limited and lasts 3 days. Severe disease is rare and occurs more commonly in persons with weakened immune systems.
The increase has again found the Minister reiterating the advice he has shared from day one – and that is for vendors to thoroughly wash the conch in fresh water.
Dr. Sands said, “there will be inspection teams verifying that people are actually following the recommended approach to conch preparation.
“The legislation allows for the various government agencies to shut down any persons who do not comply with the requirements of the law.”