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Published On: Sat, Sep 7th, 2019

Florida Vibrio cases rise to 19, 1st death reported in Hillsborough County

By Robert Herriman  @infectiousdiseasenews

The Florida Department of Health has reported an addition six Vibrio vulnificus cases since the last report in mid August.

Image/CDC

Through September 6, health officials report 19 cases, including one death.

The fatality was reported in Hillsborough County.

Cases have been confirmed in the following counties: Broward, Charlotte (2), Escambia (3), Hillsborough (2), Manatee, Osceola, Palm Beach, Pasco (3)and Pinellas (5).

Since 2015, Florida has seen between 40 and 50 cases annually and between 9 and 14 fatalities.

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 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.

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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. The bacterium can invade the bloodstream, causing a severe and life-threatening illness with symptoms like fever, chills, decreased blood pressure (septic shock) and blistering skin lesions. Vibrio vulnificus bloodstream infections are fatal about 50 percent of the time.


A recent study showed that people with these pre-existing medical conditions were 80 times more likely to develop Vibrio vulnificus bloodstream infections than healthy people. Wound infections may also be serious in people with weakened immune systems. The wound may heal poorly and require surgery. Sometimes amputation may even be needed for recovery.

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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. […] a follow-up on the Vibrio vulnificus situation in Florida, state health officials reported two additional cases during the past […]

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