Vibrio Vulnificus a risk to Bay County?


Published 08/05 2014 03:04PM

Updated 08/05 2014 03:06PM

Although there are no confirmed cases in our area, around the state 13 cases of the Vibrio Vulnificus virus have been confirmed by the department of health.

People can be exposed to the virus in warm salt water or by eating raw seafood.

Health department officials say the Vibrio virus can be in any kind of salt water including the gulf or the bay and its the summer heat that makes the bacteria grow so there are some things to look out for.

First, anyone who has cut or scraps should beware of getting into the water at the beach. Health department representatives say that includes cuts as small as nicks from shaving. They also recommend people who know they have liver conditions to steer clear of the water.

Raw oysters are one of the foods that carry the virus, the DOH advises that if you are craving the shellfish too eat it fully cooked.

“Vibrio Vulnificus is the one bacteria infection form sea water that can kill people, but usually people who have a good immune system are not going to have problems,” Mike Fluharty, Department of Health.

“If you have open wounds, I would think twice about going out into the sea water and if you have problems with your liver or other chronic conditions that interfere with your immune system to avoid raw oysters, you can eat oysters but make sure they are fully cooked.”

Fluharty says some of the symptoms of an infection from the bacteria are fever, diarrhea, or vomiting.

He says in the past they haven't seen many cases here.. But he ones they have seen have been bad.

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