The Salvadoran Institute of Social Security (ISSS) confirmed the deaths of two people from the bacterial infection, Vibrio vulnificus, according to a local media account (computer translated).

El Salvador/CIA
El Salvador/CIA

According to officials, a 61-year-old man was treated in the emergency in early August. He presented with fever, diarrhea, red skin on his lower limbs, and as part of his clinical condition had liver cirrhosis. The patient died.

Two days prior to the appointment, the patient consumed a cocktail of shells with shrimp and crab, in a restaurant in Santa Tecla.

The other case is that of a 58-year-old woman, who was treated on 2 September and had two days of symptoms.

The patient died within a few hours of admission, and also had liver cirrhosis.

Dr. Jorge Panameño, a private infectologist, said that V. vulnificus is not a new bacterial agent but one that is already widely known in the country and has occasionally caused deaths here.

LISTEN: Vibrio vulnificus: An interview with Dr Judy Stone

Concerning the two cases, he said they had two characteristics in common: that both consumed shellfish (which had the bacteria) and second, perhaps more relevant, is that they are treated two patients suffering from liver cirrhosis, or a debilitating chronic disease, which is where it has been known for a long time that is going to cause the worst damage.