Crab Meat Imported from Venezuela Linked to Multistate Vibrio Outbreak

Vibrio parahaemolyticus
Vibrio parahaemolyticus is a bacterium in the same family as those that cause cholera. It causes gastrointestinal illness in humans. Illness is usually self-limited and lasts 3 days. Severe disease is rare and occurs more commonly in persons with weakened immune systems. Credit: CDC/ Janice Carr

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that consumers not buy or eat, restaurants not serve, and retailers not sell fresh crab meat imported from Venezuela at this time.

Epidemiologic investigation  of a multistate outbreak of Vibrio parahaemolyticus infections indicates that precooked fresh crab meat imported from Venezuela is the likely source.

The outbreak has sickened 12 people from Maryland, Louisiana, Pennsylvania, and the District of Columbia. Four people have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.

The illnesses started on dates ranging from April 1, 2018 to July 3, 2018.

This crab meat might be labeled as fresh or precooked. It is commonly sold in plastic containers. Food contaminated with Vibrio usually looks, smells, and tastes normal.

Vibrio illness typically begins 24 hours after swallowing the germ. Symptoms of infection include watery diarrhea, stomach cramping, nausea, vomiting, fever, and chills. Symptoms usually lasts about 3 days, and most people recover without treatment. People with vibriosis should drink plenty of liquids to replace fluids lost through diarrhea.

Vibriosis has been a nationally notifiable disease since 2007.

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