Vibrio vulnificus is a bacteria found in warm seawater. It’s commonly contracted by eating raw oysters. However, it can also be passed through open wounds. If not treated, v. vulnificus can lead to death.

Vibrio Vulnificus Symptoms

Fever, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain are common vibrio symptoms.  However, more severe vibrio symptoms include low blood pressure and difficulty breathing.  And contraction of the bacteria could lead to sepsis. Vibrio vulnificus symptoms typically begin one to three days after exposure.

Since v. vulnificus can be dangerous, prevention methods are crucial.

Vibrio Vulnificus Prevention

As they say, the best treatment is prevention. And vibrio vulnificus prevention means upping your hygienic game.

1. Avoid Raw Fish

You should avoid eating raw shellfish and other seafood. This especially applies if you have a weak immune system due to an illness.

It seems often like food that looks cooked is cooked.  But that isn’t always the case. Use a thermometer to test the inner temperature of your seafood.  Your food will be safe to eat when it reads 145 degrees Fahrenheit.  Properly cooking your food will kill any harmful bacteria present.

2. Clean and Play Safely

Food safety goes beyond the food itself. You should also wash kitchen utensils in hot, soapy water. Furthermore, be wary of cross-contamination.

If you have an open cut or wound, do not touch raw seafood juices.  And avoid ocean activities until your wound has healed.  This includes swimming, fishing and boating.

Additionally, you should wash your clothes and shower after being in a high risk facility. This includes the hospital, gym, and public pool.

3. Boost Your Immune System

One good way to avoid contracting any illness is to eat right. Adopt a healthy, anti-inflammatory diet.  Furthermore, avoid toxins that may compromise your immunity. And avoid contact with people and places that have been contaminated.

Vibrio Vulnificus Treatment

Prevention is key.  But there are also vibrio vulnificus treatment methods available. However, a doctor needs to administer treatment immediately after symptoms appear.  Vibrio vulnificus treatment includes antibiotics and wound therapy.  Sometimes, a doctor will correct complications. For example, severe infection may require an amputation.

Most people who contract v. vulnificus will recover. However, according to the CDC, roughly 50 percent of patients who develop a bloodstream infection will die.

Don’t Hesitate

Do you often handle shellfish?  Be on the lookout for vibrio vulnificus symptoms.  See your doctor immediately if you suspect you’ve contracted the bacteria.   And be sure to follow vibrio vulnificus prevention methods.  Doing so just might save your life.

Dr. Axe
Family Doctor
Dr. Axe