This week in Florida, a rise in reported cases of the potentially deadly bacteria called vibrio vulnificus was reported. The rate of this bacteria has risen by 52 percent in just a few years, and in Florida, the number of cases has gotten higher than in any year since 2008, with 42 being reported. The illness has even made its way to 25 counties in the state, and 13 deaths have been noted.
CDC issued a warning in regards to the bacteria, stating that vibrio can be the result of consuming contaminated seafood, or even from being exposed to affected seawater via an open wound. Vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain are all reported to be common side effects.
[bctt tweet="A Recent Seafood Outbreak Has Left 13 People Dead"]
While healthy individuals might recover after dealing with mild symptoms, those with weakened immune systems are seriously at risk, especially if they have chronic liver disease. Vibrio can make its way into the bloodstream and result in fever, chills, lowering of blood pressure and blistering skin lesions. The infection can result in death 50 percent of the time.This news is so alarming that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has implemented strict guidelines in regards to oysters, clams, mussels, and other fish that carry bacteria. In fact, 100 percent of the imported seafood must be screened. Sad that you won't be able to get your oyster fix this holiday season? Cook them thoroughly, which is known to kill all of the bacteria. The following guidelines have also been put into place by the Florida health department:
- Wear protective clothing such as gloves when handling raw shellfish.
- For shellfish in the shell, either a) boil until the shells open and continue boiling for 5 more minutes, or b) steam until the shells open and then continue cooking for 9 more minutes. Do not eat those shellfish that do not open during cooking.
- Boil shucked oysters at least 3 minutes, or fry them in oil at least 10 minutes at 375°F.
- Eat shellfish promptly after cooking and refrigerate leftovers.