The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) has announced there is an outbreak of Vibriosis in eastern Missouri. The illnesses are caused by Vibrio parahaemolyticus, which is usually associated with eating raw or undercooked shellfish, particularly oysters. Three cases of the illnesses have been identified June 27 and 28, 2012. Risk factors for acquiring this disease include eating raw or undercooked oysters, clams, mussels, or crabs; or cross-contamination of other foods or surfaces with raw seafood. The bacteria lives in brackish water and grows easily in warm water during the summer months.
Symptoms of the illness include nausea, vomiting, watery diarrhea, and abdominal cramps. Some people become very ill, with fever and low blood pressure; those with weakened immune systems are most at risk for complications. The symptoms usually start 4 to 96 hours (3 days) after eating contaminated food. When Vibirosis is diagnosed, the disease must be reported to public health authorities within three days. Health workers should call DHSS at 800-392-0272 to report any new cases; that line is open 24/7.
For questions, call the DHSS Bureau of Communicable Disease Control and Prevention at 573-751-6268 or 800-392-0272.