The Dare County Department of Health and Human Services has a released a video advising the public how to reduce the risk of contracting recreational water-related illnesses after several cases of Vibrio infections have been confirmed along the East Coast.
The 6-minute video explains how recreational water-related illnesses, or WRI, are contracted, types of illnesses bacteria cause, and safety tips.
The county since late July has received three confirmed reports of Vibrio bacteria infections, one of which resulted in death, and one case in which a person came in contact with Cryptosporidium, which can cause respiratory and gastrointestinal illness, while most likely swimming in the Currituck Sound, according to a news release.
Vibrio is also the probably culprit of a fatality that occurred in the county this week, the release states.
Officials attribute the rise in recreational water-related illnesses to warmer water temperatures.
“Warmer temperatures create opportunities for the bacteria, which are naturally occurring in some coastal water, to multiply,” the release states.
Vibrio infections occur when the bacteria is exposed to open wounds in warm coastal waters, by eating raw or undercooked shellfish, particularly oysters, and through injuries like puncture wounds from finfish or shellfish.
Of the WRI cases confirmed in Dare County, three people with open wounds or cuts came into contact with bacteria in Buzzard Bay in Kill Devil Hills and the Atlantic Ocean in Nags Head. Another person came into contact with bacteria after eating raw oysters.
For more safety tips visit www.DareNC.gov/RWI.