Seafood poisoning – Bahamas The

At least 10 people were affected by conch poisoning in the Bahamas.

Conch poisoning is commonly caused by Vibrio parahaemolyticus. This bacterium can be present on raw conch if not washed off properly.

10 people with conch poisoning were admitted to Princess Margaret Hospital.

The Bahamas health officials caution people to avoid eating raw conch until the source of contamination can be detected.

Photo: Vibrio parahaemolyticus is a bacterium in the same family as those that cause cholera. Electron micrograph.

Seafood poisoning is the result of ingestion of Vibrio bacteria in raw or undercooked seafood, usually oysters. It is the is the predominant cause of the acute gastroenteritis caused by bacteria associated with consumption of seafood.

Symptoms are an explosive watery or bloody diarrhea accompanied by vomiting, cramps and sometimes fever. The symptoms usually resolve withing 72 hours.

Outbreaks tend to be concentrated along coastal regions during the summer and early fall when higher water temperatures favor higher levels of bacteria. Seafood most often implicated includes squid, mackerel, tuna, sardines, crab, conch, shrimp, and oysters and clams.

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