Vibrio are a species of bacteria that cause watery diarrhea and abdominal cramps. They are commonly found in coastal marine waters and, therefore, in filter-feeding shellfish such as oysters (which, for this reason, are best eaten fully cooked).
Infection with Vibrio species is especially dangerous when someone has a compromised immune system or liver disease. Vibrio can also cause severe wound infections. Non-cholera vibrio species include V. parahaemolyticus, V. vulnificus, and others. Grimontia hollisae has recentlly been moved out of the Vibrio genus but is also reportable and is addressed in the Investigative Guidelines below. Also see: Cholera.
What is required?
Health care providers and clinical laboratories
Health care providers and clinical laboratories are required by law to report cases and suspect cases of any species of Vibrio to local health departments within 24 hours of identification. Call 971-673-1111 to reach the state health department doctor on call.
Cases are subject to restriction on school and day-care attendance, food handling, and patient care for the duration of any diarrhea and/or vomiting.
For Local Health Departments
Oregon Public Health warns of illness risk from eating contaminated raw oysters
Vibrio bacteria occur naturally in coastal areas and are found in higher concentrations during the summer months as water becomes warmer. Cases of illness caused by this bacteria have been reported in Oregon.
Adding lime juice, hot sauce or alcohol won't kill the bacteria. The safest option is to eat oysters that have been fully cooked.