Precautions in Order to Prevent Vibrio
July 20, 2007
La Marque –
With recent news reports concerning Vibrio
infections the Galveston County Health District is reminding people to take
precautions to protect themselves.
is not unique to local waters. According to the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention several species of Vibrio bacteria live in coastal saltwater
around the world. The bacteria are present throughout the year but are more
prevalent in summer months when water is warmer. Vibrio vulnificus and
Vibrio parahaemolyticus are two common species of the organism.
Local and state health
officials remind people that any time they are swimming in untreated water such
as the Gulf or bays they should exercise caution and use common sense. People
with cuts or open sores or wounds should avoid exposing them to salt water or
any untreated water and if there is an exposure they should immediately be
washed with soap and fresh water. A person should seek medical attention if
signs of infection, such as redness or swelling, occur.
For the great majority of
persons who might come in contact with the Gulf water, there is no cause for
concern, but there are some persons who should pay particular attention to
prevent Vibrio infection. Those with a higher risk of developing
infection and complications include people with liver disease, diabetes, cancer,
stomach disorders or any illness or medical treatment that weakens the body’s
immune system. Anyone with questions concerning their health status are urged
to consult with their healthcare provider.
infections can be treated successfully with
antibiotics if identified early. There are rare occasions when the infection may
lead to more serious complications and some infections can be deadly.
Vibrio also can also be
contracted from eating raw or undercooked shellfish. Health officials
continually advise persons at risk to avoid consuming raw or undercooked
shellfish, including oysters, clams and mussels.
Health Officials are not
seeing an unusual number of Vibrio cases reported. Last year there were
54 cases of Vibrio reported statewide and two of those were in Galveston
Residents and visitors
should be aware that beaches are not closed and people should educate themselves
about the risk of Vibrio particularly in the warm summer months when most
enjoy recreational waters.
For More Information Contact:
Public Information Officer
Galveston County Health District
11 or 409.392.0007