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August 1993

Vibrio vulnificus Infections Associated with Raw Oyster Comsumption—Florida, 1981-1992

Arch Dermatol. 1993;129(8):957-958. doi:10.1001/archderm.1993.01680290029004

VIBRIO VULNIFICUS is a gram-negative bacterium that can cause serious illness and death in persons with preexisting liver disease or compromised immune systems. From 1981 through 1992, 125 persons with V. vulnificus infections, of whom 44 (35%) died, were reported to the Florida Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services (HRS). This report summarizes data on these cases and presents estimates of the at-risk population in Florida.

The infections generally occurred each year from March through December and peaked from May through October. Seventy-two persons (58%) had primary septicemia, 35 (28%) had wound infections, and 18 (14%) had gastroenteritis. In patients with primary septicemia, 58 infections (81%) occurred among persons with a history of raw oyster consumption during the week before onset of illness. The mean age of these persons was 60 years (range:33-90 years; standard deviation: 12.9years); 51 (88%) were male. Fourteen (78%) of the patients with gastroenteritis also had raw oysterassociated illness. Their mean age was 49 years (range 19-89 years; standard deviation: 25.7 years); seven (50%) were male.

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