Infectious Diseases

Vibrio vulnificus Claims Two Lives in Uruguay

According to a report in El Pais (machine translated), two men, aged 84 years and 90 years respectively, died in Punta del Estate from Vibrio vulnificus infection. Punta del Estate is a city in South West Uruguay.

Image Credits: USM

V. vulnificus is a halophilic, gram negative, lactose fermenting, opportunistic agent which is found in estuaries and other similar areas and is associated with marine life forms. It usually enters the blood stream through cuts and breaks in the skin and may cause a rapidly fatal septicemia in susceptible patients. If food or water contaminated by this agent is consumed it may cause gastroenteritis that may result in dysentery.

Patients who suffer from a septicemia associated with the entry of this agent through skin breaches suffer from very high mortality rates (to the tune of 50%), and patients are characterized by typical bullous skin lesions.

Image Credits: JBJS

Subsequently, this disease went on to affect three more people who recovered from it.

Skeptic Oslerphile. PhD Student in the Department of International Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Past: 1) Public Health Scientist and Program Manager, Translational Global Health Policy Research Cell, Department of Health Research, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India. 2) Scientist, Indian Council of Medical Research, National Institute of Cholera and Enteric Diseases; 3) Senior Research Associate, Public Health Foundation of India. Interests include: Emerging Infections, Public Health, Antimicrobial Resistance, One Health and Zoonoses, Diarrheal Diseases, Medical Education, Medical History, Open Access, Healthcare Social Media and Health2.0. Opinions are my own!

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