At Least 5 People Diagnosed With Relatively Rare Vibrio Vulnificus Infections

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) Connecticut health officials are warning of a rise in infections stemming from the exposure to bacteria in Long Island Sound.

Four patients in August and one in July were diagnosed with relatively rare Vibrio vulnificus infections, according the state Department of Public Health.

READ MORE: Juneteenth 2021: Tri-State Area Events Honoring Liberation Of America's Last Enslaved People

Those infections can lead to serious illness that could result in hospitalization or limb amputation, the department said.

“The identification of these five cases over two months is very concerning,” said Dr. Matthew Cartter, the state epidemiologist for the Health Department. “This suggests the Vibrio bacteria may be present in salt or brackish water in or near Long Island Sound, and people should take precautions.”

Just seven such infections were reported in Connecticut between 2010 and 2019.

READ MORE: New York Scaling Back Mass COVID Vaccination Sites, Adding Pop-Ups At Early Voting Locations

The cases reported this summer came in adults ages 49 and 85 years old from Fairfield, Middlesex and New Haven counties.

All of the cases involved people who had pre-existing wounds or sustained a wound and were then exposed to salt or brackish water while boating, swimming or crabbing the department said.

The Department urged anyone headed to the Sound to cover any wounds, recent piercings or new tattoos with waterproof bandages and wash them thoroughly with soap.

You can get the latest news, sports and weather on our brand new CBS New York app. Download here.

MORE NEWS: New York Weather: CBS2’s 6/19 Saturday Morning Forecast

(© Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)