Saturday, October 12, 2013






not trying to scare anyone, I love to eat crabs, but this stuff don’t play around, just like the fisherman said.


just have to wear some gloves when cleaning crabs and fish from now on. ...






31 in Fla. infected by bacteria in salt water


By TAMARA LUSH, Associated Press | October 11, 2013 | Updated: October 11, 2013 5:54pm






This photo provided by Patty Konietzky shows her husband's foot of what they thought was a bug bite on Sept. 22, 2013, in Ormond Beach, Fla. Patty and her husband, Henry "Butch" Konietzky, went crabbing in the Halifax River near Ormond Beach in September. Butch developed a sore which was later confirmed to be vibrio vulnificus. The bacteria spread quickly in his body and he died 60 hours later. ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Patty Konietzky thought the small purple lesion on her husband's ankle was a spider bite. But when the lesion quickly spread across his body like a constellation, she knew something wasn't right.


After a trip to the hospital and a day and a half later, Konietzky's 59-year-old husband was dead.


The diagnosis: vibrio vulnificus (vih-BREE'-oh VUHL'-nihf-ih-kus), an infection caused by a bacterium found in warm salt water. It's in the same family of bacterium that causes cholera. So far this year, 31 people across Florida have been infected by the severe strain of vibrio, and 10 have died.


"I thought the doctors would treat him with antibiotics and we'd go home," said Konietzky, who lives in Palm Coast, Fla. "Never in a million years it crossed my mind that this is where I'd be today."


State health officials say there are two ways to contract the disease: by eating raw, tainted shellfish — usually oysters — or when an open wound comes in contact with bacteria in warm seawater.


In Mobile, Ala., this week health department officials said two men with underlying health conditions were diagnosed with vibrio vulnificus in recent weeks. One of the men died in September and the other is hospitalized. Both men were tending to crab traps when they came into contact with seawater.


 While such occurrences could potentially concern officials in states with hundreds of miles of coastline and economies largely dependent on ocean-related tourism, experts say the bacteria is nothing most people should worry about. Vibrio bacteria exist normally in salt water and generally only affect people with compromised immune systems, they say. Symptoms 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.


But there's no need to stop swimming in the Gulf of Mexico, says Diane Holm, a spokeswoman for the state health department in Lee County, which has had a handful of cases that included one fatality this year.


"This is nothing abnormal," she said. "We don't believe there is any greater risk for someone to swim in the Gulf today than there was yesterday or 10 years ago."


There have been reports this year in Gulf states of other waterborne illnesses, but they are rare. In fresh water, the Naegleria fowleri amoeba usually feeds on bacteria in the sediment of warm lakes and rivers. If it gets high up in the nose, it can get into the brain. Cases have been reported in Louisiana, Arkansas and in Florida, including the August death of a boy in the southwestern part of the state who contracted the amoeba while knee boarding in a water-filled ditch.


Dr. James Oliver, a professor of biology at the University of North Carolina in Charlotte, has studied vibrio vulnificus for decades. He said that while Florida has the most cases of vibrio infection due to the warm ocean water that surrounds the state, the bacteria is found worldwide, generally in estuaries and near the coast.


"It's normal flora in the water," he said. "It belongs there."


The vast majority of people who are exposed to the bacteria don't get sick, he said. A few people become ill but recover. Only a fraction of people are violently ill and fewer still die; Oliver said many of those people ingest tainted, raw shellfish.


Oliver and Florida Department of Health officials say people shouldn't be afraid of going into Florida's waters, but that those with suppressed immune systems, such as people who have cancer, diabetes or cirrhosis of the liver, should be aware of the potential hazards of vibrio vulnificus, especially if they have an open wound.


Holm said nine people died from vibrio vulnificus in Florida in 2012, and 13 in 2011, so this year's statistics aren't alarming. What's different, she said, was that victims' families are speaking to the news media about the danger.


Konietzky watched as her husband Henry "Butch" Konietzky died on Sept. 23. She said she feels it's her mission to let others know about the potential risks. Next week, she and her husband's adult daughter are scheduled to appear on "The Doctors" television program to discuss the disease.


"We knew nothing about this bacteria," she said. Never mind that both she and her husband grew up in Florida and have spent their lives fishing and participating in other water activities.


The couple had gone crabbing on the Halifax River near Ormond Beach on Sept. 21, she said. Her husband first noticed the ankle lesion in the middle of that night. He didn't wake his wife, but in the morning, told her that it felt like his skin was burning near the lesion. Patty Konietzky took a photo of it and hours later, when her husband said he was in pain and the lesions had spread, they went to the emergency room.


Konietzky said her husband didn't have any health problems or open wounds that she knew of, and when doctors told her that he had an infection in his bloodstream, she didn't think it was too serious. Within hours, her husband's skin turned purple and it "looked like he had been beaten with a baseball bat."


Nearly 62 hours after he was in the water, Butch Konietzky died. His wife notes that she, too, was in the same water — yet wasn't infected.


"To walk around in the water and doing the things we did, you didn't give it any thought," she said.


Konietzky said her husband wouldn't want her — or anyone else — to stop fishing or enjoying outdoor activities because of a fear of the bacteria. Nonetheless, she wants people to be aware of the risk and is pushing her local county commission to post signs warning folks about the bacteria.


"I'm not going to be afraid of it," she said. "I have to personally put some meaning on the loss of my husband. And speaking out is all I can do."





Follow Tamara Lush on Twitter at









Monday, October 7, 2013


Nine Floridians Killed, 18 Sickened by Vibrio This Year; Some Cases Linked to Oysters


ALSO, it’s all along the Texas coast...see;









Friday, June 7, 2013


Big Increase VIBRIO PARAHAEMOLYTICUS Along Texas Coast


"It is along the whole coast of Texas,"



Bacteria Death Posted: Jun 13, 2013 6:43 PM CDT <em class="wnDate">Thursday, June 13, 2013 7:43 PM EST</em>Updated: Jul 01, 2013 6:43 PM CDT <em class="wnDate">Monday, July 1, 2013 7:43 PM EST</em> By Isiah Carey, Reporter - bio



HOUSTON (FOX 26) - Eva Rutledge says, "I didn't expect it. His leg was bruised. He had a bruise on his leg how in the hell - excuse me - turn in to that. How did he lose his leg to a bruise."


Family members say 66 year old James Jim Rutledge of Katy was a man of few words...He was a person who loved his family and the outdoors. Rutledge's garage is filled with his hobbies from deer hunting to fishing. And his wife says fishing is what in part lead to his unexpected and shocking death.


"Down at his place we'd always get up at 5 am we'd run out there all the bass schooling out there you know catching them like crazy," says Eva.


It was last week when family members say James bruised his leg here on this homemade wooden motor stand in his garage...Then Saturday morning Eva Rutledge says he was fine and went fishing with friends.


Eva says, "Jim never got in the water ever since the warning years ago without waiters covering him...but you get out in the water and you're gonna get splattered no matter what."


When Rutledge returned home - by Saturday night his wife said he appeared to be weak. Then on Sunday Jim's leg looked like this. It was full of lesions and boils. He was rushed to the hospital.


Eva says, "they took him down to surgery and scraped away the skin and they said the muscle was dead and the tissue was dead and they had to go in and amputate his leg."


Eva says by Monday afternoon doctors believe Jim may have come into contact with Vibrio bacteria while fishing near Galveston. The organism can be found in coastal is a bacteria that could make you sick or even kill you....


"It just literally ate his body. It shut down one place then it went up and shut down another," says Eva.


By 8:00 Monday night family members say 66 year old Jim Rutledge had died...That was only two days after going fishing...Doctors tell family members he died from a form of severe infection called sepsis possibly caused by Vibrio.


Eva says, "that was it I lost him that was the end of him."


Eva is now determined to get out the word. She wants those in the community to head the warning from fishing reports. Warnings when the bacteria level is high in bodies of water around Texas.


She says, "it needs to be on the news people need to be warned and they need to know what they're up against."


In the meantime, Jim's family is planning to bury him Friday. They all say they will wear fishing shirts in his memory...a memory his wife has not come to grips with just yet.


"I don't believe he's gone yet. I don't know how to explain it. He's off for the weekend - he's staying with the guys it's no big deal," says Eva.


The family is now waiting on official answers from the Harris County Medical Examiner.


Signs and symptoms of Vibrio:


(Source: Wikipedia)


Vibrio vulnificus causes an infection often incurred after eating seafood, especially raw or undercooked oysters. V. vulnificus does not alter the appearance, taste, or odor of oysters. the bacteria can also enter the body through open wounds when swimming or wading in infected waters, or via puncture wounds from the spines of fish such as tilapia.


Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and a blistering dermatitis that is sometimes mistaken for pemphigus or pemphigoid.


V. vulnificus is eighty times more likely to spread into the bloodstream in people with compromised immune systems, especially those with chronic liver disease. When this happens, severe symptoms including blistering skin lesions, septic shock, and even death can occur. This severe infection may occur regardless of whether the infection began via contaminated food or via an open wound.




Dangerous Bacterial Infection Causes Alert in Corpus Christi Area Posted: Jun 4, 2013 2:17 PM by Janine Reyes Updated: Jun 4, 2013 8:55 PM


CORPUS CHRISTI -- A big increase in bacterial infections found in warm salt water has health officials on alert tonight. It's called Vibrio Parahaemolyticus.


You and your family could come in contact with the potentially dangerous bacteria.


Justin Bovee and his son are enjoying a day at the beach, unaware that inside the water, they could come into contact with Vibrio Parahaemolyticus.


"It is along the whole coast of Texas," explained Dr. William Burgin, Jr. With the Corpus Christi-Nueces County Public Health District.


The whole coast of texas usually sees 2-7 cases per year.


In Corpus Christi, in just 3 weeks, we've already seen 3 cases and that's a lot.


The bacteria is found in warm salt water that means you can pick it up two ways, either by swimming in infected water with an open wound or by eating the shellfish that swims in that water.


Bovee says he'll be more leery about eating seafood. He's not too worried about swimming in it, because he has a strong immune system. His son doesn't do much swimming. "He doesn't get in the water too much anyway, he only goes about knee deep, then he gets freaked out and goes back to the beach," Bovee said.


Still, dr burgin with the health department cautions that it's young people who have picked up the infection. One from eating infected food, the other two from being in the water.


Having cuts or scrapes will put you at a higher risk.


"You never know, you may go in with no scratches, but out there in the water you step on something and that breaks the skin," Burgin explained.


That's why it's important to stay aware, get out if you get cut and something as simple as wearing water shoes at the beach to help prevent those cuts and scrapes in the water.


If you catch Vibrio Haemolyticus by eating infected fish, symptoms are diarrhea, abdominal cramping, nausea and fever.


If you catch it by swimming in infected water, you will develop an abscess that does not respond to normal antibiotics and you'll have to see a doctor immediately.



 Intraspecific Diversity of Vibrio vulnificus in Galveston Bay Water and Oysters as Determined by Randomly Amplified Polymorphic DNA PCR Meilan Lin1,†, Deborah A. Payne2 and John R. Schwarz1,* + Author Affiliations


1Department of Marine Biology, Texas A&M University at Galveston, Galveston, Texas 77551 2Department of Pathology and Otolaryngology, The University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, Texas 77555 Next Section ABSTRACT Randomly amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) PCR was used to analyze the temporal and spatial intraspecific diversity of 208 Vibrio vulnificus strains isolated from Galveston Bay water and oysters at five different sites between June 2000 and June 2001. V. vulnificus was not detected during the winter months (December through February). The densities of V. vulnificus in water and oysters were positively correlated with water temperature. Cluster analysis of RAPD PCR profiles of the 208 V. vulnificus isolates revealed a high level of intraspecific diversity among the strains. No correlation was found between the intraspecific diversity among the isolates and sampling site or source of isolation. After not being detected during the winter months, the genetic diversity of V. vulnificus strains first isolated in March was 0.9167. Beginning in April, a higher level of intraspecific diversity (0.9933) and a major shift in population structure were observed among V. vulnificus isolates. These results suggest that a great genetic diversity of V. vulnificus strains exists in Galveston Bay water and oysters and that the population structure of this species is linked to changes in environmental conditions, especially temperature.





V. vulnificus in sport fish mucus and recreational waters of south Texas


Lijie Shi1 Gregory W. Stunz1, Katrina V. Gordon2, Gregory W. Buck1, and Joanna B. Mott1 1Dept. of Life Sciences, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, Corpus Christi, TX 78412 2Dept. of Integrative Biology, University of South Florida, 4202 E Fowler Ave, Tampa, FL 33620




Vibrio vulnificus is a Gram-negative, motile, curved bacterium with polar flagella found naturally in marine environments and commonly associated with oysters, clams, mussels, and fish. Infection by V. vulnificus can lead to serious consequences with a mortality rate as high as 50%, and death usually occurring within 48 hours of admission to a hospital. Infection routes are either through ingestion of undercooked seafood or through a wound lesion. The majority of the infections reported in Texas coastal areas have been associated with fishing and recreational activities. In this study, levels of V. vulnificus on two commonly fished species and in the water column were measured monthly in the Aransas Bay complex. Surface mucus of spotted seatrout (Cynoscion nebulosus) and red drum (Sciaenops ocellatus) and water samples were collected, and routine field parameters were recorded. V. vulnificus concentrations were determined using the species specific VVAP probe as recommended in the Food and Drug Administration Bacteriological Analytical Manual [FDA BAM, (Kaysner and DePaola 2004)]. Enterococcus levels in the water were measured following EPA Method 1600. V. vulnificus was isolated from mucus of both species of fish and from water samples, with concentrations ranging from 101-3x103/100ml of water and mucus. Numbers in water increased with water temperature. Enterococcus levels in the water were <10 as="" associated="" cfu="" coastal="" commonly="" data="" div="" fished="" from="" handling="" health="" in="" initial="" levels="" ml.="" of="" on="" pathogen="" potential="" provided="" risks="" routine="" species="" study="" texas="" the="" this="" two="" v.="" vulnificus="" waters.="" waters="" well="" with="">





The study, conducted throughout the six month period from March to August 2010, demonstrated that V. vulnificus is present in the mucus of commonly fished species in the Coastal Bend area of Texas. Concentrations in water and fish mucus of this bacterium ranged from 101 to 103 per 100ml, and as the temperature increased over the season, the concentration of bacteria also increased, with May samples being an exception. However, statistics suggested that the increase in V. vulnificus concentration was more related to salinity than temperature (P<0 .05="" a="" additional="" affected="" all="" also="" although="" an="" and="" as="" assess="" at="" be="" better="" causing="" cfu="" compounds="" concentration="" concentrations.="" concentrations="" contrast="" contribute="" did="" div="" drum="" effects.="" enterococcus="" environment="" explore="" factors="" finding="" fish="" for="" from="" generally="" genes="" handling="" health="" higher="" however="" in="" increased="" indicator="" infection="" infections="" is="" levels="" longer="" low="" may="" measured.="" ml="" mucus="" needed="" not="" of="" open="" order="" other="" outcome="" populations="" potential="" produced="" project="" quality="" red="" relate="" research="" results="" risks="" route="" sampling="" seatrout.="" seatrout="" serious="" sites="" source.="" species="" specific.="" spotted="" stress="" such="" suggest="" suggested="" temperature="" than="" that="" the="" these="" this="" to="" transmission="" used="" v.="" very="" virulence="" vulnificus="" water.="" water="" were="" which="" with="" wounds="">

see full text with graphic charts with different species of fish with VIBRIO VULNIFICUS ;









Presented to the Graduate Council of Texas State University-San Marcos in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements


For the Degree


Master of SCIENCE




Najeda L. Patolo, B.A. San Marcos, Texas May 2012








Results from the Kendall‟s Tau-b correlation analysis show that there is a clear and significantly negative correlation between precipitation and salinity in both bay systems. This result was expected based on evidence presented in past studies (Mott et al., 2008, Ramirez et al., 2008) and is also a logical result. An increase in high-magnitude precipitation events in a shallow estuarine system will cause local salinity levels to temporarily drop. Correlation analysis between precipitation and water temperature in both bay systems shows no significant relationship. It is expected that seasonality (time of the year) will be a greater determining factor for changes in water temperature. High water temperatures influence the presence of V. vulnificus, but changes to that particular variable in the area not directly correlated to precipitation events in the study area.




The relationship results of the Phi test for concordance or discordance between the occurrence of V. vulnificus morbidity cases and above-normal precipitation events in both bay systems are not significant. A potential source of error in this analysis is the small sample size of morbidity cases. There are only 30 reported cases identified to the Galveston Bay system and 5 for the Matagorda Bay system over a 5-year period. Perhaps repeating this study at a more coarse scale over a longer time period and using a greater sample of morbidity cases will have a different outcome.


As was previously stated, underreported numbers of infection may also have affected the amount of morbidity data used in this case study. It is hypothesized that analysis of the entire coastal region of Texas and geographically identified morbidity cases may result in a stronger study and possibly different results.


42 68 CHAPTER 7




If global and sea surface temperatures continue to rise at the rate predicted (Patz et al. 2000), corresponding changes in the hydrologic cycle can also be expected, especially in humid-subtropical and tropical locations where water temperatures are consistently warm. Warm coastal waters will expand, resulting in sea levels rising, an increase in flood events, and larger hydrologic events in locations with sea temperatures above 26°C (Patz and Olson 2006). This rise in flood events and the resulting decrease in salinity levels may increase the geospatial range of Vibrio vulnificus.


Environmental changes to the coastal and estuarine ecosystems of the Texas Gulf Coast may also affect the flora and fauna, which harbor the hazardous bacteria. Future analysis of population clustering in coastal urbanized areas will give the researcher a better idea of where morbidity clusters occur, depending on where the populations are concentrated. In coastal locations where temperatures are high and salinity temperatures are moderated either by a freshwater source inland or high levels of precipitation, such




analysis will be useful in determining areas able to support Vibrio vulnificus growth and reproduction.


In the 2011 Regional Water Plan for the state of Texas, the Texas Water Development estimated a +50% rise in population for Harris County, +17% for Galveston, and +17% for Matagorda County (Table 1). These increases in the resident population combined with increased weather variability in an already environmentally sensitive ecosystem may very well be a contributing factor to the number of reported water-borne diseases in the Texas Gulf Coast. General knowledge of the bacteria is not always made readily available to the public, and specific water bodies identified that may be potentially hazardous after a heavy precipitation event are not always identifiable.


Over the last four decades, sufficient scientific analysis of Vibrio vulnificus has identified the specific environmental needs of the pathogen. Safety measures are taken during shellfish harboring, and information about food poisoning is readily available through the Center for Disease Control and the GCOIC. It appears, however, that those test variables may not determine when and where morbidity cases are reported. More research may need to be performed to determine specific recreational and industrial locations that are high-traffic locations during hurricane season in the study area and in the entire Texas Gulf Coast.


Extensive study is required to determine how much fecal coliform affects the presence of Vibrio vulnificus in order to determine potential locations within large bay




systems that are ideal for bacterial growth. The general migration patterns of seasonal populations may also be studied to determine if there is a connection between popular recreation locations and reported morbidity cases.


42 71






Reported Vibrio vulnificus Morbidity Cases and Sites Texas Coast (1999-2003)




Apr-99 1 E. Galveston Bay N/A


Apr-99 1 Galveston Bay N/A


May-99 1 Galveston Bay N/A


May-99 Unknown Unknown N/A


Jul-99 0 N/A Baycliff/Kemah/Texas City


Jul-99 0 N/A Galveston Beach


Jul-99 0 N/A Galveston Bay


Aug-99 0 N/A Aransas Pass


Aug-99 Unknown Unknown Unknown


Aug-99 Unknown Unknown Unknown


Aug-99 0 N/A Trinity Bay


Sep-99 0 N/A Galveston Bay


Sep-99 1 Unknown N/A


Jan-99 0 N/A Bay Oaks Harbor, Baytown


Dec-99 1 Galveston Bay N/A


May-00 1 Galveston Bay N/A


Jun-00 1 Galveston Bay N/A


Jul-00 0 N/A Matagorda Bay


Jul-00 1 Galveston Bay N/A


Jul-00 1 Galveston Bay N/A




Reported Vibrio vulnificus Morbidity Cases and Sites Texas Coast (1999-2003)




Jul-00 0 N/A Trinity Bay


Sep-00 1 LA N/A


Sep-00 1 Galveston Bay N/A


1-May 0 N/A Brazos River near coast


1-May 1 Lake MacIHAs, LA N/A


1-May 0 N/A Lavaca Bay


1-Jun 0 N/A Galveston Bay


1-Jun 0 N/A Canal 4 mi. NW of Raymondville


1-Jul 1 Galveston Bay N/A


1-Aug 1 Galveston Bay N/A


1-Aug 0 N/A Galveston Bay


1-Sep 0 N/A Port Lavaca


1-Sep 1 Unknown N/A


1-Oct 1 Unknown N/A


2-Jun 0 N/A Unknown


2-Jun 1 Galveston Bay N/A


2-Jul 1 Galveston Bay N/A


2-Jul Unknown Unknown Unknown


2-Jul 0 N/A Aransas Bay


2-Jul 0 N/A Unknown


2-Jul 0 N/A Unknown


2-Aug 0 N/A Matagorda Bay


2-Aug 0 N/A Bolivar Peninsula


2-Aug 0 N/A Port O'Connor


2-Aug 1 Unknown N/A


2-Sep Unknown Unknown Unknown


2-Sep 0 N/A Unknown


2-Oct 1 Unknown N/A


Table Continued: 73


Reported Vibrio vulnificus Morbidity Cases and Sites Texas Coast (1999-2003)




2-Oct 1 Galveston Bay N/A


3-May 0 N/A Palacios area on bay


3-Jun 0 N/A Galveston, West Bay


3-Jul 0 N/A Aransas Pass


3-Jul 0 N/A


3-Jul 0 N/A Port Arthur


3-Aug 1 Galveston Bay N/A


3-Sep 0 N/A Matagorda Bay


3-Oct 1 Galveston Bay N/A


3-Oct 1 Galveston Bay N/A


3-Nov 1 Unknown N/A


3-Nov 1 Galveston Bay N/A


snip...see full text ;



 Tompkins: Dangers of deadly bacteria in state's saltwater By Shannon Tompkins | June 27, 2012 | Updated: June 28, 2012 12:37pm




Through June 20 of this year, six cases of vibrio vulnificus infections have been reported to TDSHS. Cases of vibrio vulnificus infections typically peak in July and August. Vibrio vulnificus infection cases/deaths reported to Texas Department of State Health Services, 2007-11:


Shellfish consumption Water contact Other/unknown Total


Year Cases Deaths Cases Deaths Cases Deaths Cases Deaths


2011 7 2 6 0 4 2 17 4


2010 10 2 16 5 6 1 32 8


2009 11 6 6 1 2 1 19 8


2008 7 4 5 1 5 2 17 7


2007 12 7 11 0 3 1 26 8


Source: Texas Department of State Health ServicesHouston Chronicle









Monday, October 7, 2013

Nine Floridians Killed, 18 Sickened by Vibrio This Year; Some Cases Linked to Oysters

Nine Floridians Killed, 18 Sickened by Vibrio This Year; Some Cases Linked to Oysters


By James Andrews | October 7, 2013


At least 27 Floridians have been sickened this year – and nine have died– from infections of Vibrio vulnificus, a deadly bacterium that lives in warm seawater and is commonly associated with eating raw oysters and other shellfish. The figure came from a news release published last week by the Florida Department of Health.


 Of the nine who died, three are known to have contracted Vibrio infections from eating oysters. Another four cases were likely caused by exposure to seawater, possibly with open wounds becoming infected by Vibrio bacteria. The exposure history of the remaining two deaths was unknown.


 Of the 18 victims who survived, two reported eating raw oysters, while two had unknown exposures. The remaining 14 had some type of wound with exposure to seawater, according to a spokeswoman for the health department.


 Beyond avoiding eating raw shellfish, the health department cautioned that this was also an important reminder to avoid swimming in warm or brackish seawater with an open wound.


 The health department supplied this tally of the number of Vibrio cases and deaths reported in Florida each year since 2008:


2008: 15 cases, 5 deaths 2009: 24 cases, 7 deaths 2010: 32 cases, 10 deaths 2011: 35 cases, 13 deaths 2012: 27 cases, 9 deaths 2013: 27 cases, 9 deaths (as of Oct. 1)


When ingested, Vibrio can cause severe diarrhea, vomiting and abdominal pain. Wounds infected with Vibrio may lead to skin breakdown and ulcers.


If Vibrio enters the bloodstream, it can caused fevers, chills, decreased blood pressure and blistering skin lesions. Bloodstream Vibrio infections have a 50-percent mortality rate.


Individuals with weakened immune systems, such as the elderly or children, are much more susceptible to severe Vibrio infections and are advised to avoid eating raw shellfish.


According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2012 Vibrio cases in the U.S. increased by 43 percent compared to a study period covering 2006-2008.


Vibrio is also the most underreported foodborne pathogen, according to CDC. For every case of Vibrio infection that gets diagnosed, the agency estimates another 142 cases go undiagnosed.


 For more information on Vibrio, Food Safety News published a report on Sept. 23 entitled, “Emerging Pathogens: Vibrio Cases in Oysters Expected to Continue Increasing.”


© Food Safety News


More Headlines from Foodborne Illness Investigations »


Tags: Florida, oysters, Vibrio




Browse: Home / Features, Story Ideas / Information on Vibrio Vulnificus Information on Vibrio Vulnificus By editor01 on October 1, 2013



VIDEO: Dr. Carina Blackmore speaks on Vibrio Vulnificus Vibrio Vulnificus Update 10.03.13


County Total Cases Deaths
















LEE 1 1


LEON 1 1






















Total: 27 9


 Frequently Asked Questions: Vibrio vulnificus


DOWNLOAD PDF: Frequently Asked Questions: Vibrio vulnificus


What is Vibrio vulnificus?


Vibrio vulnificus is a bacterium that normally lives in warm seawater and is part of a group of vibrios that are called “halophilic” because they require salt.How do persons get infected with Vibrio vulnificus?


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.


How can Vibrio vulnificus infection be diagnosed?


Vibrio vulnificus infection is diagnosed by stool, wound, or blood cultures. Notifying the laboratory when this infection is suspected helps because a special growth medium should be used to increase the diagnostic yield. Doctors should have a high suspicion for this organism when patients present with stomach illness, fever or shock following the ingestion of raw seafood, especially oysters, or with a wound infection after exposure to seawater.


What type of illness does Vibrio vulnificus cause?


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. 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.


How common is Vibrio vulnificus infection?


Vibrio vulnificus is a rare cause of disease, but it is also underreported. Between 1988 and 2006, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) received reports of more than 900 Vibrio vulnificus infections from the Gulf Coast states, where most cases occur. Before 2007, there was no national surveillance system for Vibrio vulnificus, but CDC collaborated with Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Texas and Mississippi to monitor the number of cases in the Gulf Coast region. In 2007, infections caused by Vibrio vulnificus and other vibrio species became nationally notifiable.


What are some tips for preventing Vibrio vulnificus infections?


Do not eat raw oysters or other raw shellfish. Cook shellfish (oysters, clams, mussels) thoroughly. For shellfish in the shell, either


a) boil until the shells open and continue boiling for 5 more minutes, or


b) steam until the shells open and then continue cooking for 9 more minutes.


Do not eat those shellfish that do not open during cooking.


Boil shucked oysters at least 3 minutes, or fry them in oil at least 10 minutes at 375°F.


Avoid cross-contamination of cooked seafood and other foods with raw seafood and juices from raw seafood.


Eat shellfish promptly after cooking and refrigerate leftovers.


Avoid exposure of open wounds or broken skin to warm salt or brackish water, or to raw shellfish harvested from such waters.


Wear protective clothing (e.g., gloves) when handling raw shellfish.


How is Vibrio vulnificus infection treated?


If Vibrio vulnificus is suspected, treatment should be initiated immediately because antibiotics improve survival. Aggressive attention should be given to the wound site; for patients with wound infections, amputation of the infected limb is sometimes necessary.


For more information on care and treatment specifics, please visit the CDC’s website.Information about the potential dangers of raw oyster consumption is available 24 hours a day from the FDA’s Seafood Hotline – 1-800-332-4010For more information on Vibrio vulnificus, visit the CDC’s website.


Below is a breakdown of cases in Florida since 2008:


2008 = 15 cases, 5 deaths


2009 = 24 cases, 7 deaths


2010 = 32 cases, 10 deaths


2011 = 35 cases, 13 deaths


2012 = 27 cases, 9 deaths


2013 = so far 27 cases, 9 deaths and of those deaths:


2 – unable to determine exposure history


3 – consumed raw oysters


4 – likely exposure to seawater


2013 deaths occurred in the following counties:


Broward (2 qty.)























Friday, June 7, 2013


Big Increase VIBRIO PARAHAEMOLYTICUS Along Texas Coast


"It is along the whole coast of Texas,"