Vibriosis infections on rise, state officials say

OLYMPIA — An outbreak of vibriosis in Washington has already surpassed the highest number of cases ever recorded by the state for the month of July, the state Department of Health said in a press release.

Health officials say 52 cases of vibriosis have been reported in July, KING-5 reported. They blame the record-breaking high temperatures that killed millions, if not billions, of sea creatures during the Pacific Northwest heat wave.

The infections are associated with eating raw or undercooked shellfish, especially oysters, that are contaminated with Vibrio.

Vibriosis symptoms include diarrhea, abdominal cramps, nausea, vomiting, headache, fever and chills.

The illness usually occurs four hours to four days after eating contaminated shellfish, with mild or moderate symptoms that typically run its course in two to three days.

People with weakened immune systems or liver disease are at higher risk for Vibrio infections. These people, and anyone who wants to avoid illness, should eat only thoroughly cooked shellfish, the health department said.

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