At least three people have died after contracting a rare bacterial infection in Connecticut and New York.
Health authorities said two patients died in Connecticut and one in New York’s Suffolk County this summer from Vibrio vulnificus. Three people came down with the infection in Connecticut back in July and two of them, aged between 60 and 80, died the same month, reported the Associated Press.
While urging residents to continue taking necessary precautions, the New York Health Department has requested medical practitioners to be vigilant for symptoms of Vibrio vulnificus in patients with open wounds or unexplained sepsis.
“While rare, the Vibrio bacteria has unfortunately made it to this region and can be extraordinarily dangerous,” New York Gov. Kathy Hochul said in a news release.
What is Vibrio vulnificus?
Vibrio vulnificus is a type of bacteria that enters the body through the consumption of undercooked shellfish or through open wounds when the body comes in contact with seawater. Its consequences are grave, triggering a severe form of illness known as vibriosis, which is capable of rapidly progressing into sepsis, shock and extensive tissue damage, according to Cleveland Clinic.
The signs of the infection include diarrhea, which is often accompanied by cramps, nausea, vomiting and fever.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests some precautions to safeguard oneself from the disease.
1. Shield open wounds from seawater if you have a weakened immune system.
2. Steer clear of consuming raw or undercooked shellfish, which could harbor the bacteria.
3. Wash your hands after touching raw shellfish.
4. Prevent cross-contamination by not mixing cooked and raw shellfish or their juices.
5. Thoroughly cleanse wounds and cuts if they’ve been exposed to seawater, raw seafood or its juices.
6. If you develop a skin infection, tell your medical provider whether your skin had come in contact with salt water or brackish water, raw seafood or raw seafood juices.
Published by Medicaldaily.com