Vibrio in Chesapeake Bay sickening people

By Amy Cherry 4:43pm, August 6, 2014 - Updated 5:48pm, August 6, 2014
Dangerous bacteria found in salt water is sickening some people in Maryland.

WDEL's Amy Cherry reports.

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Vibrio bacteria is occurring at a high rate in the Chesapeake Bay, sickening more than a dozen people so far this summer.

"The whole vibrio population also increases with the temperature," said Kathy Coyne, an associate professor of marine biosciences at the University of Delaware.

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Coyne also attributes the rise in vibrio to the rainy summer.

"They're very closely linked. If there's an algal bloom, you're more likely to see higher vibrio numbers," said Coyne.

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She cautions you to stay out of the water if you have an open wound or scab--because vibrio can get in and make you very sick, even kill you. But otherwise, the bay is safe for swimming.

But that's not the only way you can get sickened...

"For people who eat raw oysters, for example, if the vibrio is present, then you'll also be ingesting them," she said.

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