The total number of Vibrio vulnificus cases in Florida increased by one case from Escambia County since the last update, bringing the total cases to 13, including 3 fatalities, according to Florida Department of Health (FLDOH)data Aug. 3.

Vibrio vulnificus/CDC
Vibrio vulnificus/CDC

This follows 2013, when the Sunshine State reported 41 cases and 11 deaths, the highest number of cases reported in the past six years.

Cases have been reported from the following counties: Charlotte (2), Sarasota (2), Lee (2),  Dixie (1), Duval (1), Escambia (1), Gadsen (1), Hillsborough (1), Jackson (1) and Taylor (1). The three fatalities were reported from Dixie, Lee and Sarasota counties.

Related: Florida health officials try to clear up Vibrio myths

The FLDOH emphasizes the following points about V. vulnificus: Infections are rare, Vibrio vulnificus is a naturally occurring bacteria in warm, brackish seawater, Water and wounds do not mix. Do not enter the water if you have fresh cuts or scrapes and most importantly, individuals who are immune compromised should wear proper foot protection to prevent cuts and injury caused by rocks and shells on the beach (i.e., chronic liver disease, kidney disease, or weak immune system). 

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