MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) – The Mobile County Health Department is reporting that a sixth citizen has contracted the Vibrio this year.
According to health officials, the person contracted the disease while off-shore when an open wound was exposed to water with the bacteria. However, officials say he was not in Gulf Coast waters.
The exact name of the bacteria is Vibrio parahaemolyticus, which is different from Vibrio vulnificus.
The following message was sent down by the Health Department:
This makes six documented cases for 2017 involving Mobile County residents. The first case dealt with a Mobile County resident who consumed raw oysters in another state in March.
The second incident took place in April, and also involved the consumption of raw oysters while in Mobile County. An investigation confirmed that the oysters were imported from another state and were not harvested locally.
Two other cases took place during June and came from wound exposure while in bodies of waters near Dauphin Island, the Mississippi Sound and Mobile Bay.
The fifth case of Vibrio was reported at the end of July. Despite intensive research, not enough information was available to pinpoint an exact source for the bacteria, which was identified as Vibrio cholerae non 01-0139. Investigators said the mystery of where the patient came in contact with the bacteria may never be solved.
Of the first four reports, two cases were identified as Vibrio vulnificus, while one was Vibrio parahaemolyticus and the other was Vibrio fluvialis. According to the Centers of Disease Control & Prevention, about a dozen Vibrio species can cause human illness, known as vibriosis.
Vibrio bacteria naturally live in certain coastal waters and are present in higher concentrations between May and October when water temperatures are warmer. However the bacteria can be present throughout the year in some areas.
All of the cases involving Mobile County residents have been considered mild, and have not involved the serious bacterial skin infection “necrotizing fasciitis.” According to the CDC, most people who get necrotizing fasciitis have other health problems that may lower their body’s ability to fight infection.”