Victoria County Epidemiologist address concerns about Vibriosis

Victoria County Commissioners heard from the Victoria County Health Department Monday to learn more about a recent flesh-eating bacteria death.

Victoria County epidemiologist is trying to eliminate any fears associated with Vibriosis, a bacterial infection that lead to several deaths here in the crossroads.

“Vibrio is a bacterial infection that you can get that is naturally found in the environment in the gulf of Mexico, particularly in any salt water area,” says Brittany Burgess, Epidemiologist.

Epidemiologist Brittany Burgess says every year they expect to see a few cases of Vibriosis.

“The Texas Department of State Health Services says over a 10-year period, [Texas] saw about 90 cases of vibrio related illnesses, and in Victoria that number is nowhere near that high,” tells Burgess. “As close as we are to the coastline, and over our 10 year period we had 10 cases with that being anywhere from a gastrointestinal illness, to a wound infection, but it’s not an elevated number and its nothing overly concerning right now.”

Burgess gives you some preventative steps you can take to limit yourself from getting this infection.

“Please don’t get in the water if you have blisters, cuts, scraps or any other open wound that would open up your body to infection,” explains Burgess. “There are other things in the water outside of Vibrio that could potentially make people sick or give them a wound infection as well.”

Don’t eat shellfish raw, cook them to a temperature that is going to kill any bacteria that is inside of them,” adds Burgess.

People with immune compromising diseases, such as cancer and HIV, need to take extreme caution.

“If they eat the oyster or shellfish, and they get exposed, or they go and get in the water and get exposed, they could potentially develop some very serious infections,” says Burgess. “Those severe infection if not caught immediately then you increase your risk of having even worse complications and your chances of recover start decreasing.”

If you feel like you were exposed to Vibriosis it is important to contact your doctor immediately.

“Tell the doctor what kind of exposure you have. If you were out fishing tell them about that, if you were working at the coastline and if you ate oysters or some sushi, tell the doctor about that exposure those things help them identify the types of illnesses that could possible be causing this reaction that they are having,” explains Burgess.

Crossroads, Burgess is urging you to take care of your health, and she says there are no alarming stats related to Vibrosis this year.