Officials verified Wednesday that at least three individuals died in Connecticut and New York from acquiring a rare flesh-eating bacteria prevalent in warm, brackish waters or raw shellfish.
In accordance with Christopher Boyle, director of communications for the state’s Department of Public Health, two individuals in Connecticut contracted Vibrio vulnificus and died after swimming in two different places on Long Island Sound.
A report from the Department of Public Health, another individual became ill in July after consuming raw oysters from an out-of-state location. In accordance with the department, all three were between the ages of 60 and 80.
The virus was also found in a Long Island death, according to Governor Kathy Hochul on Wednesday. Based on the news release, officials are still examining the fatality in Suffolk County to establish whether the bacteria came into contact in New York waters or abroad.
Vibrio Vulnificus Bacteria Symptoms
Vibrio Vulnificus is related to the bacteria that triggers cholera.
A mild case of vibriosis can result in skin sores, blisters, abscesses, and ulceration. Chills, fever, diarrhea, stomach ache, and potentially vomiting are common symptoms.
Septicemia might develop in more severe situations. This is more likely in those who have underlying health disorders, such as liver disease, cancer, diabetes, HIV, or other immune-suppressing diseases.
Anybody is susceptible to vibriosis, but persons who have a wound that is open, like a cut or scrape, a fresh piercing, or a fresh tattoo, should avoid exposing their skin to warm seawater in coastal areas, according to the news release.
Doctors recommend seeking treatment as soon as possible if you get a skin illness after suspected exposure to the bacteria.
Officials Advise to Take Precautions
Connecticut and New York officials are recommending people to take measures before eating raw oysters or getting exposed to saltwater or brackish water.
In the summer, Connecticut frequently checks oyster harvest locations statewide for vibrio levels, and the state has made modifications to its oyster harvesting standards since 2014.