Vibrio Infection Fact Sheet

Minnesota Department of Health
June, 2007

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Vibrio Fact Sheet (PDF: 32KB/1 page)

What is it?

Vibrio is a bacterium that lives in brackish saltwater and causes a diarrheal illness in humans. Itcan be found in coastal waters in the United States and Canada and is present in higher concentrations during the summer.

What are the symptoms?

Infection with Vibrio causes watery diarrhea, stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting, fever, and chills. Symptoms usually begin within 1 to 3 days of ingesting Vibrio.

Vibrio can also cause a skin infection when open wounds are exposed to warm seawater.

How long does it last?

Gastrointestinal symptoms usually last about 3 days. Many people infected with Vibrio will recover on their own, however treatment may be available from your health care provider

How is it spread?

Most people become infected with Vibrio by eating raw or undercooked shellfish, particularly oysters.

What should I do if I have symptoms?

  • Contact your health care provider.
  • Wash your hands often.
  • Drink plenty of fluids so you don’t become dehydrated.

How can I prevent Vibrio infections?

  • Cook seafood thoroughly, especially oysters.
  • Keep raw seafood separate from produce and other foods when shopping and storing groceries.
  • Prevent cross-contamination in the kitchen by washing hands, cutting boards, countertops, knives, utensils, and other surfaces after handling raw foods.
  • To prevent skin infections, avoid exposing open wounds to warm seawater.
  • Wash your hands with warm, soapy water for 20 seconds
    • After using the bathroom
    • After changing diapers
    • Before eating

Updated Wednesday, November 17, 2010 at 12:34PM