- Tybee residents invited to participate in sea level rise, coastal flooding preparations
- Apply now for the 2013-2014 Georgia Sea Grant Marine Education Internships
- EcoFocus Film Festival expands to Jekyll Island
- Georgia Sea Grant issues 2014-2015 Request for Proposals
- Apply now for the 2014 Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship
- Tybee government begins planning for rising seas
- Reading Between the Lines: Marine Debris Education for Children in Georgia
- University of Georgia and Georgia Sea Grant help Tybee Island prepare for potentially rising seas
Vibrio vulnificus is especially dangerous to people with weakened immune systems.
Vibrio bacteria naturally occur in non-polluted waters in which molluscan shellfish (oysters, clams, mussels) grow. Although many species of Vibrio bacteria are harmless, some can cause infections in consumers if they eat raw or undercooked shellfish, mainly oysters, or expose open wounds to seawater. Vibrio vulnificus infections are especially dangerous to consumers with diabetes, liver disease, cancer, AIDS and other immunocompromising conditions.
Since the FDA’s announcement in October 2009 to ban interstate sale of raw Gulf oysters unless they are shucked or processed to reduce Vibrio bacteria to non-detectable levels, the molluscan shellfish industry and the Interstate Shellfish Sanitation Conference (ISSC) have been in turmoil. The FDA has been sharply criticized for not allowing the ISSC’s existing Vibrio management plan to take effect before mandating strict and economically devastating controls. Clam harvesters and non-Gulf oyster harvesters and processors fear FDA’s move may bring more strict controls to their industry.
In this dynamic situation, it is imperative for the University of Georgia’s Marine Extension Service (MAREX) to be engaged and aware of potential and anticipated changes or technology developments that may impact or enhance Georgia’s growing shellfish aquaculture industry. In December of 2010, the University of Georgia Marine Extension Service and Georgia Sea Grant produced the first edition of the Georgia Vibrio Newsletter, which is intended to keep Georgia’s certified shellfish dealers informed of regulatory changes, help them adapt their businesses, and hopefully improve the safety of their products for consumers. For even more information about seafood safety and the symptoms and dangers of V. vulnificus, view this article in the Global Aquaculture Advocate.
For comprehensive information about V. vulnificus, read an article called Diagnosing and Treating Deadly Vibrio Vulnificus Infection by Tori Stivers.