TALLAHASSEE – The
Florida Department of Health urges Floridians with certain health
conditions to avoid eating raw oysters and exposing open wounds to
seawater and estuarine water, which may harbor bacteria called Vibrio
Occurring naturally in the warm waters of the Gulf coast,
particularly during the summer months, Vibrio vulnificus has the
potential to cause serious illness.
Those with liver damage due to excessive drinking and
individuals with liver disease, including Hepatitis C and cirrhosis, are
most at risk for developing serious illness from Vibrio vulnificus.
Other at-risk health conditions include hemochromatosis (iron overload),
diabetes, cancer, stomach disorders or any illness or treatment that
weakens the immune system. At-risk individuals are more likely to become
extremely ill or die from eating raw oysters containing these bacteria.
People in these high-risk groups are also at risk of serious illness if
they have wounds, cuts or scratches and wade in estuarine areas or
seawater where the bacteria might be present. Individuals living without
these conditions can become ill from eating raw oysters containing
these bacteria and from exposing open wounds to sea and estuarine
waters, although their illnesses tend to be less severe.
Labels: vibrio, warnings