Connecticut health officials issue warning on rare but serious seafood-linked bacterial infection

Connecticut health officials have issued a warning about a serious infection linked to saltwater and raw seafood, Vibrio Vulnificus, as the state sees a spike in cases this summer.
Naturally found in the ocean, the bacteria can infect people who consume raw or undercooked seafood, particularly oysters. According to state epidemiologist Dr. Lynn Sosa, it can also enter the body through open wounds that come into contact with salt water, brackish water, or raw seafood juices.
Vibrio Vulnificus infections can become severe, leading to extensive surgery for wound infections, and can sometimes be fatal.
In the past month, three cases of the infection have been reported in Connecticut, with all three individuals requiring hospitalization, and one case resulting in death. The Department of Public Health (DPH) has not disclosed the specific locations within the state where these cases occurred.
Dr. Sosa emphasized the importance of public awareness to ensure protective measures against this bacterial infection.
The suggested precautions include avoiding the consumption of raw oysters and shellfish, staying out of the ocean if you have an open wound, covering any wounds with a waterproof bandage, and thoroughly washing any wounds with soap and water if they come into contact with saltwater or raw seafood.
Symptoms of Vibrio Vulnificus can include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and fever. If the bacteria infects a wound, symptoms can include pain, redness, discoloration, and pus. A bloodstream infection could result in fever and low blood pressure. According to Dr. Sosa, the symptoms can manifest quickly, often within hours to a couple of days.
Health officials urge anyone who has eaten raw shellfish, has an open wound that has been in contact with salt or brackish water, and is experiencing symptoms, to seek medical attention promptly.
The last time the state experienced any Vibrio infection cases was in 2020 - when there were five cases.