In a follow-up on the Vibrio vulnificus situation in Florida, the death toll from the bacterial infection in Florida increased by one as the Department of Health reported a third fatality in the state–a second from Citrus County.
The number of total cases as of July 8 is now 15–Dade (2), Citrus (2) and one each in Brevard, Broward, Collier, Duval, Escambia, Hernando, Highlands, Jackson, Lee, Okaloosa and Santa Rosa counties.
Vibrio vulnificus can cause disease in those who eat contaminated seafood or have an open wound that is exposed to warm seawater containing the bacteria. Ingestion of Vibrio vulnificus can cause vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain. Vibrio vulnificus can also cause an infection of the skin when open wounds are exposed to warm seawater; these infections may lead to skin breakdown and ulcers.
Healthy individuals typically develop a mild disease; however, Vibrio vulnificus infections can be a serious concern for people who have weakened immune systems, particularly those with chronic liver disease.