WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- Connecticut has recorded five cases of Vibrio vulnificus infections in connection to exposure to the Long Island Sound since July.
- Health officials warned that the high rate within two months is concerning for such a rare illness.
- Officials advised against exposure to “saltwater, brackish water, raw seafood, or its juices,” especially for people with open wounds.
An unusually high rate of rare bacterial infections has been reported in connection to exposure to the Long Island Sound.
Health officials in Connecticut declared that the Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH) has recorded five cases of Vibrio vulnificus infections since July.
Officials explained that the illnesses from these infections are “extremely rare.” Between 2010 to 2019, only seven cases have been reported statewide.
That’s why “five cases over two months is very concerning,” said Dr. Matthew Cartter, state epidemiologist for DPH.
“This suggests the Vibrio bacteria may be present in salt or brackish water in or near Long Island Sound, and people should take precautions,” Dr. Cartter added.
This type of bacteria is usually present in warm saltwater or brackish water (a mixture of fresh and saltwater). It can infect open wounds upon exposure, thereby entering the bloodstream. An infection can lead to severe illness, hospitalization, limb amputation, or even death.
According to health officials, the mortality rate is 1 out of 5. In some cases, the disease can lead to death within 48 hours of infection. The illness poses the greatest risk for the elderly and people with weakened immune systems.
The five reported cases involved adults aged between 49 to 85. They all had recent wounds or sustained new wounds from activities like boating, crabbing, and swimming, which led to the infections.
All five patients needed hospitalization. Three had serious wound infections, while the other two had an infection of the bloodstream. There were no reported fatalities.
There is also a possibility of getting infected “from eating raw or undercooked oysters and other seafood,” the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warned.
Health officials have issued the following precautions, especially if you have a wound (including recent tattoos and piercings):
- Avoid saltwater or brackish water.
- Do not wade in the water.
- Cover wounds with waterproof bandages.
- If exposed to “saltwater, brackish water, raw seafood, or its juices,” ensure proper and thorough washing.
Visit the CDC website to get more information regarding Vibrio infections.
Source: FOX News