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Published On: Wed, Dec 4th, 2013

CDC investigating Vibrio parahaemolyticus increase affecting 13 states

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced recently an investigation of an increase of vibriosis caused by Vibrio parahaemolyticus.

In coordination with state health departments, the federal health agency is monitoring the increase in foodborne vibriosis that has sickened 104 people of a specific strain in 13 states since May.

Six of the individuals required hospitalization for their illness.

According to the investigation notes, food histories have been reported for 82 ill persons.  Of these, 75 (91%) reported eating raw oysters or raw clams during the 7 days before their illness began. 

The CDC says that prior to 2012, Vibrio parahaemolyticus infections of this strain were rarely associated with shellfish from the Atlantic coast.

The Interstate Shellfish Sanitation Conference maintains a list of shellfish harvest area closures and recalls. Harvest areas to which illnesses were traced remain closed in Virginia (closed July 12) and Massachusetts (closed August 30). New York closed harvest areas which were associated with illnesses from June 29 to September 14and Connecticut closed illness associated harvest areas from August 2 to September 17. Massachusetts issued a recall of oysters originating from harvest areas associated with illness and Connecticut issued a recall of oysters and clams originating from illness associated harvest areas.

Vibrio parahaemolyticus is a bacterium in the same family as those that cause cholera. It lives in brackish saltwater and causes gastrointestinal illness in humans. V. parahaemolyticus naturally inhabits coastal waters in the United States and Canada and is present in higher concentrations during summer.

V. parahaemolyticus causes watery diarrhea often with abdominal cramping, nausea, vomiting, fever and chills. Usually these symptoms occur within 24 hours of ingestion. Illness is usually self-limited and lasts 3 days. Severe disease is rare and occurs more commonly in persons with weakened immune systems.

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Image/CDC

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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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  1. CDC investigating Vibrio parahaemolyticus incre... says:

    […] The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced recently an investigation of an increase of vibriosis caused by Vibrio parahaemolyticus. In coordination with state health departments, the federal health agency is monitoring the increase in foodborne vibriosis that has sickened 104 people of a specific strain in 13 states since May.Six of the individuals required hospitalization for their illness. According to the investigation notes, food histories have been reported for 82 ill persons. Of these, 75 (91%) reported eating raw oysters or raw clams during the 7 days before their illness began. The CDC says that prior to 2012, Vibrio parahaemolyticus infections of this strain were rarely associated with shellfish from the Atlantic coast. See the source (http://tinyurl.com/kgxdw3w) for the full story  […]

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