Epidemiology and Infection

Gastrointestinal infection and helicobacter

Vibrio illness in Florida, 1998–2007

K. E. WEISa1a2 c1, R. M. HAMMONDa2, R. HUTCHINSONa2 and C. G. M. BLACKMOREa2

a1 Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists Applied Epidemiology Fellowship, Atlanta, GA, USA

a2 Bureau of Environmental Public Health Medicine, Division of Environmental Health, Florida Department of Health, Tallahassee, FL, USA


This study characterized the current epidemiology of vibrio infections in Florida and examined cases reported from 1998 to 2007. Logistic regression was used to determine risk of death. There were 834 vibrio infections in 825 individuals (average annual incidence rate 4·8/1 000 000). Common Vibrio species reported were Vibrio vulnificus (33%), V. parahaemolyticus (29%), and V. alginolyticus (16%). Most exposures were attributed to wounds (42%), and the most common clinical syndromes were wound infections (45%) and gastroenteritis (42%). Almost half of individuals reported an underlying health condition. Risk of death was associated with any underlying condition and increased with the number of conditions (P<0·0001). In Florida, incidence of vibriosis associated with raw oyster consumption has decreased while incidence associated with wound infections has increased. Most prevention efforts to date have focused on oyster consumption. New educational messages focusing on the risk of vibriosis from wound infections should target high-risk populations.

(Accepted May 18 2010)

(Online publication June 14 2010)


c1 Author for correspondence: K. E. Weis, Ph.D., MPH, Division of Environmental Health, Florida Department of Health, 4052 Bald Cypress Way, Bin A08, Tallahassee, FL 32399-1712, USA. (Email: kweis2@yahoo.com)