Seafood poisoning – United States

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July 15, 2021 – One case of Vibrio Vulnificus reported in Crystal Beach at the Gulf of Mexico. Patient was an adult male from Oklahoma. No deaths reported.

Male was on a trip with the family visiting Crystal Beach in June of 2021. Upon returning to Oklahoma, the man noticed a rash and shivers. Within 2 days (48 hours), blisters appeared on his leg. He was admitted to the hospital to seek medical treatment.

Vibrio Vulnificus is a bacterial infection that is found in marine waters. The bacteria can be transmitted from consumption of flesh eating bacteria or exposure of saltwater or brackish water to an open wound. The bacterial infection presents itself within a few days after exposure and can cause skin infections, fever, chills, vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, depending on the route of transmission.

Medical treatment for the individual involved skin grafting and surgery. He is seeing recovery.

Officials encourage individuals with open wounds or underlying health conditions to avoid wading in waters where this bacteria is likely present. The source also states to be cognizant of the conditions of the water and to avoid waters with a high concentration of the bacteria.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.

It is advised that elderly people, pregnant women and very young children should avoid eating raw or lightly cooked shellfish to reduce their risk of getting food poisoning.

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