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Galveston County Health District - Providing Credible Service since 1971


1207 Oak Street La Marque, Texas 77568 - Phone - 409-938-7221

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Mailing address:
PO Box 939
La Marque, TX  77568
Public Health
Information Services
Phone: 409-938-2211
Fax: 409-938-2243

Precautions in Order to Prevent Vibrio
Press release
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.  

Vibrio 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.   

Vibrio 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 County 

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:
Kurt Koopmann
Public Information Officer
Galveston County Health District
(409) 938-22 11 or 409.392.0007