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About Vibrio Vulnificus


Recently, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a national health alert to warn doctors and clinicians to be on the lookout for people infected with the flesh-eating bacteria Vibrio vulnificus.


Facts for Prelims

About Vibrio vulnificus

  • Type: Vibrio vulnificus is a type of bacteria known for causing potentially fatal infections in humans.
  • Infection Source: Infections occur when a wound comes into contact with raw or undercooked seafood, including its juices, drippings, or saltwater.
  • Tissue Damage: Once infected, the bacteria can aggressively damage various tissues in the body, including the skin, muscles, nerves, fat, and blood vessels around the wound.
  • Septicemia: In severe cases, the infection can progress to septicemia, a condition in which the bacteria enter the bloodstream. This can lead to septic shock, characterized by a dangerous drop in blood pressure.
  • Symptoms: The symptoms of Vibrio vulnificus infection can vary depending on the type:
    • Gastrointestinal Infection: Symptoms include watery diarrhea, stomach cramping, nausea, vomiting, and fever.
    • Bloodstream Infection: Symptoms include fever, chills, dangerously low blood pressure, and blistering skin lesions.
    • Wound Infection: Symptoms include fever, redness, pain, swelling, warmth, discoloration, and discharge (leaking fluids) at the site of the wound.
  • Prevention: The primary method to avoid infection is to prevent contact with the bacteria. This includes ensuring that any seafood you consume is thoroughly cooked, avoiding raw or undercooked oysters, and practicing proper hand hygiene after handling seafood.

-Source: The Hindu

July 2024