Vibrio Vulnificus in Florida has infected 31 people, 10 of whom have died. On Oct. 11, MSN reported that a salt water bacteria known as Vibrio Vulnificus is responsible for these infections which have occurred throughout the year. Other cases in Alabama have also been been reported -- one person has died there as well.
Vibrio Vulnificus is defined as "an infection caused by a bacterium found in warm salt water. It's in the same family of bacterium that causes cholera," according to MSN. While many people are concerned with this news, health officials aren't putting out any sort of warnings at this time.
Vibrio Vulnificus is prevalent in Florida and other states with seawater access. Basically, the bacteria exists in seawater regularly but usually doesn't affect people. Those with compromised immune systems have the greatest risk of having some kind of reaction to the bacteria which is transmitted in two ways. The first is by eating raw shellfish which has been tainted. The other is when an open wound meets the bacteria in "warm seawater."
Symptoms of Vibrio Vulnificus include "vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain. If the bacteria get into the bloodstream, they provoke symptoms including fever and chills, decreased blood pressure and blistering skin wounds" (via MSN).
Vibrio Vulnificus is in Florida and many other states' waters. If you have the symptoms above and suspect that you may be infected you should seek immediate medical attention.
© Effie Orfanides 2013