Colder Weather Sees Increase in Vibrio Infections
As the warmer months start winding down, healthcare providers are seeing an increase in the number of Vibrio infections due to consumption of eating raw or undercooked contaminated shellfish such as oysters from coastal waters. This can also be transmitted through open wounds or skin exposure in contaminated waters.
Recommended for NPs: Antimicrobial Essentials Package
Vibrio vulnificus carries a greater incidence between the months of May to October. There are currently outbreaks in Connecticut, New York, and North Carolina
Typical initial symptoms include fever and GI symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, watery diarrhea accompanied by intestinal cramping. Patient symptoms can worsen to blistering skin lesions, pain and redness at the site of the wound that can progress to necrotizing fasciitis necessitating limb amputations in some patients or fatal septicemia. Treatment with combination appropriate antimicrobial therapy is recommended.
While these outbreaks may be confined to certain areas of the country, clinicians should ascertain if patients who present with these symptoms have traveled to any of the areas that are currently seeing an uptick in the number of cases. Prompt diagnosis and treatment is essential to avoid complications and even death from Vibrio.