Vibriosis is an illness caused by bacteria called Vibrio. Vibrio bacteria occur naturally in coastal salt or brackish waters and become more abundant during the warmer months of the year. People can get sick with vibriosis by eating or drinking food or water that contains Vibrio or by exposing an open wound to water that contains the bacteria. Symptoms of vibriosis usually begin less than one day after being exposed to the bacteria. Symptoms include watery diarrhea, vomiting, stomach cramps, fever and chills. The illness typically lasts three days.

As in most other landlocked states, vibriosis is not a commonly reported disease in Vermont. Between 2010 and 2015, anywhere from zero to five Vibrio infections were reported to the Vermont Department of Health, giving Vermont an infection rate similar to that of the rest of the U.S.

The best way to avoid getting vibriosis is to avoid eating raw or undercooked shellfish, particularly oysters, and to avoid contact with brackish or salt water if you have an open skin wound. If you do become sick with the symptoms listed above, contact your health care provider. The only way to be diagnosed with vibriosis is by being tested.

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