Officials Warn Residents of Connecticut and New York About Risks of Raw Shellfish and Brackish Waters Due to Vibrio vulnificus Cases

Hartford, Connecticut – Officials in Connecticut and New York are alerting residents about the risks of consuming raw shellfish and swimming in brackish waters after a series of cases involving Vibrio vulnificus, a potentially deadly bacteria.

Connecticut Department of Public Health issued a warning after three individuals in the state were infected with Vibrio, with two cases linked to swimming in Long Island Sound and one case from consuming raw oysters from an out-of-state establishment. The department emphasized the need for precautions, especially during the summer months when bacteria are more likely to contaminate raw shellfish due to the heat.

Similarly, New York Governor Kathy Hochul issued a warning to residents after a resident in Suffolk County died from a Vibrio infection. The state is currently investigating to determine if the bacteria was encountered inside the state or elsewhere.

Health officials in both Connecticut and New York are urging healthcare providers to be vigilant and consider vibriosis as a potential diagnosis, particularly for individuals with compromised immune systems. They also advised those with wounds to avoid warm seawater and to refrain from handling or consuming raw seafood that could carry the bacteria.

The Vibrio infections have raised concerns, particularly given the severity of the cases, including fatalities, and the fact that the Connecticut Bureau of Aquaculture does not believe the state’s infections are linked to local shellfish. This highlights the need for heightened awareness and caution among residents in the region.

As investigations into these cases continue, both states are emphasizing the importance of taking necessary precautions and being mindful of the potential risks associated with consuming raw shellfish and swimming in brackish waters. The public health alerts serve as a reminder for individuals to prioritize their safety and well-being when partaking in activities that may expose them to Vibrio vulnificus.