The Florida Department of Health has announced that this year’s amount of Vibrio vulnificus cases has reached 42. This is the highest case count since 2008. This year has also had the highest amount of deaths since 2011. A total of 13 deaths have occurred. The deaths are spread out over 9 counties, including Brevard County with 2 deaths, Duval County with 2 deaths, Escambia County with 1 death, Hillsborough County with 3 deaths, Lake County with 1 death, Marion County with 1 death, Pinellas County with 1 death, Pork County with 1 death, and Sarasota County with 1 death.
Vibrio vulnificus is a bacterium that is found in salt water and can cause illness in humans. Vibrio vulnificus infections occur after consuming contaminated seafood. Symptoms of Vibrio infections include vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain in healthy people. When those with healthy immune systems get a Vibrio infection, it usually goes away within a week. In those with compromised immune systems, Vibrio can cause symptoms including fever, chills, skin lesions, and septic shock. If the infection enters the bloodstream of someone with a compromised immune system, Vibrio is fatal 50% of the time. If you or a loved one begins to show the symptoms of a Vibrio infection, contact a medical professional.