Vibrio: It is More Dangerous Than You Think
When people think of typical food poisoning bacteria, usually Salmonella, E.coli, or Listeria are the first pathogens that come to mind. Not many think about Vibriosis, because it isn’t nearly as common.
While not common, it is much more dangerous. Vibrio bacteria proves this everyday, as the CDC reports: “As many as 1 in 5 people with a Vibrio vulnificus infection die. This is because Vibrio vulnificus infection can lead to bloodstream infections, severe skin blistering, and limb amputations.” In short, it rapidly escalates.
What is Vibriosis? According to the CDC: “Vibrio naturally live in coastal waters where oysters live. Because oysters feed by filtering water, Vibrio and other harmful germs can concentrate in their tissues.” Although consuming contaminated oysters is the most common way someone becomes ill with Vibriosis, some other ways include:
- Getting brackish or salt water in a wound, such as when swimming, wading, or fishing;
- Cutting themselves on an item, such as a rock or pier and;
- Getting raw seafood juices or drippings in a wound.
This issue is made increasingly worse by global warming. Average climates are rising all over the globe, unfortunately enabling bacteria, such as Vibrio, to grow. Bacteria and germs flourish best in warm and humid conditions, which is why it is in the late spring to the early summer months that scientists see the greatest increase.
With this problem showing no signs of pumping the brakes, it is important that the public is informed about this strain of bacteria, so people know when they should seek help from their health provider. Though, how does someone know they have come into contact with Vibrio?
The most common symptoms of Vibriosis include watery diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, fever, and chills. If someone experiences these symptoms after consuming raw oysters or meeting one of the aforementioned conditions listed above, it is vital that they contact their health provider immediately. The illness, if confirmed, can lead to better medical options and the illness will be reported to the state or local health department so further investigation can be conducted.
With every food poisoning illness, there are always the same few groups who are more susceptible to becoming severely ill. Groups such as younger children and older adults, the immunocompromised, and others who suffer from chronic health issues are those who are at the most risk.
Tony Coveny, a national food poisoning lawyer in the United States corroborates this statement, as he says, “Out of all the people we see who have become severely ill due to foodborne pathogens, over half are in one of the groups (the young, older adults, those who are immunocompromised or have an existing health condition) that are more susceptible to becoming life-threateningly ill. Although, we still cannot overlook the fact that these bacteria affect everybody, even those with a previously clean bill of health.”
Vibrio is dangerous to everyone, and it is important that it be treated seriously.