Connecticut reports 5 cases of rare waterborne infection

Since July, five cases of Vibrio vulnificus infections have been reported to the Connecticut Department of Public Health.

All five infected patients were hospitalized, and none have died. Two of the patients had septicemia while three had serious wound infections. All patients are between 49 and 85 years old.

All five patients were exposed to salt or brackish water while swimming, crabbing and boating, and all had pre-existing wounds or sustained new wounds during these activities, which led to the Vibrio vulnificus infections.

Vibrio vulnificus infections are extremely rare. In Connecticut, only seven cases have been reported between 2010 and 2019.

Vibrio vulnificus can cause wound infections when open wounds are exposed to warm salt or brackish water. The bacteria can infect the bloodstream once inside the body, causing septicemia. People with these infections can fall seriously ill and require intensive care or limb amputation.

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