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Correspondence
July 2004

An Outbreak of Vibrio vulnificus Infection in Kumamoto, Japan, 2001

Arch Dermatol. 2004;140(7):888-889. doi:10.1001/archderm.140.7.888

Vibrio vulnificus infection is an uncommon disease, but one with severe consequences. In some countries,1,2 itis a notifiable disease, but not in Japan. An outbreak of V vulnificus infection was confirmed mainly in the Yatusushiro area, Kumamoto prefecture, during late June to early July in 2001. Seven cases weredetected: 6 septicemia types and 1 wound infection type. All 7 cases (Table 1) occurred in patients with existing hepatic disorders such as hepatitis or hepatic cirrhosis caused by hepatitisC virus or long-term alcohol abuse. We were able to save patients 2, 3, and 7 because their liver dysfunction was not so severe. We speculate that mortalitydue to V vulnificus infection mainly depends on the patient's liver condition. All patients with septicemia-type V vulnificus ate raw seafood before the occurrence, especially ana-jako,and all patients were infected after a heavy rain. We speculate that there may be a relationship between the outbreak of V vulnificus infection and the amount of rain.

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