The number of fatalities due to Vibrio vulnificus during the first 11 months of 2014 in the state of Florida stands at seven, according to the Florida Department of Health.

Florida map/National Atlas of the United States
Florida map/National Atlas of the United States

The official confirmed cases tally for the state shows the number of cases and deaths have risen by one since last reported here in mid November to 31 cases and 7 deaths. The newest case and death is reported from a Orange County resident, according to DOH statistics.

The 2014 numbers compare to 2013  when the Sunshine State reported 41 cases and 11 deaths, the highest number of cases reported in the past six years.

People can get infected with Vibrio vulnificus when they eat raw shellfish, particularly oysters. The bacterium is frequently isolated from oysters and other shellfish in warm coastal waters during the summer months. Since it is naturally found in warm marine waters, people with open wounds can be exposed to Vibrio vulnificus through direct contact with seawater. There is no evidence of person-to-person transmission of Vibrio vulnificus.

Vibrio vulnificus is a rare cause of disease, but it is also underreported. Between 1988 and 2006, theCenters for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) received reports of more than 900 Vibrio vulnificus infections from the Gulf Coast states, where most cases occur.

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