New York State Department releases guidance after 3 dead from flesh-eating bacteria in New York, Connecticut

The New York State Health Department launched guidance for residents to determine a flesh-eating bacterium that has claimed the lives of 1 New York resident and two Connecticut residents over the summer time.

The state Department of Public Health mentioned that there are three individuals identified to have been contaminated with the Vibrio vulnificus bacteria. 

Vibriosis causes an estimated 80,000 diseases and 100 deaths in the United States yearly, in accordance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. ((Photo By BSIP/Universal Images Group through Getty Images))

A basket of oysters

Two Connecticut residents have died this summer time from infections linked to a bacteria discovered in uncooked shellfish, the state Department of Public Health mentioned Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2023.  (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

Vibriosis is a uncommon however probably deadly bacterial an infection that may trigger pores and skin breakdown and ulcers and is discovered in uncooked shellfish or seawater, well being officers mentioned.


Gov. Kathy Hochul referred to as the flesh-eating bacteria “extraordinarily dangerous,” calling upon her constituents to take precautions in opposition to the bacteria.

“While rare, the vibrio bacterium has unfortunately made it to this region and can be extraordinarily dangerous,” Hochul mentioned in a press launch. “As we investigate further, it is critical that all New Yorkers stay vigilant and take responsible precautions to keep themselves and their loved ones safe, including protecting open wounds from seawater and for those with compromised immune systems, avoiding raw or undercooked shellfish which may carry the bacteria.”

Atlantic Ocean

People fish from the jetty on the seashore alongside the Atlantic Ocean at sundown on July 28, 2022. (Michael Bocchieri/Getty Images)

Hochul mentioned that Vibriosis is brought on by a number of species of bacteria, together with the Vibrio vulnificus bacteria, which happens naturally in saltwater coastal environments. 

She famous that the doubtless lethal bacteria is discovered in increased concentrations from May to October, when the climate is hotter.


Symptoms embrace diarrhea, abdomen cramps, vomiting, fever and chills. Exposure may also end result in ear infections and trigger sepsis and life-threatening wound infections.

The particular person in New York who died from Vibrio was in Suffolk County. Hochul mentioned that the dying remains to be being investigated to find out if the bacteria had been encountered in New York waters or elsewhere. 

woman eating at outdoor restaurant

Woman tasting recent uncooked oyster shellfish and ingesting wine in seafood restaurant (iStock)

New York State Department of Health cautioned that people liver illness, most cancers or a weakened immune system or individuals taking drugs to lower abdomen acid ranges could also be extra prone to get an an infection or develop issues when contaminated.

To assist forestall vibriosis, individuals with a lower or scrape or a latest piercing or tattoo ought to keep away from exposing pores and skin to heat seawater in coastal environments or cowl the wound with a water-proof bandage.


In addition, the well being division cautioned these with compromised immune programs to keep away from consuming uncooked or undercooked shellfish, akin to oysters, which might carry the bacteria. Wear gloves when dealing with uncooked shellfish and completely wash your palms with cleaning soap and water when completed.

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