Officials have put out their annual warning about a potentially dangerous bacteria that appears in our region each year around this time.

It's called Vibrio Vulnificus and in the worst-case scenario can cause death.

Vibrio Vulnificus is found in warmer water along the coast.

There are a couple of ways people can be infected.

People with open wounds who swim in warmer water such as the ocean, lakes or streams near the coast. Remember, we're talking about a type of bacteria. The wound doesn't have to be significant to be infected.

Another way to get infected is by eating raw seafood.

According to Web MD,

Vibrio is most often found in raw or lightly cooked oysters; other shellfish like clams, crawfish, crab, mussels, and scallops (especially if they're not properly stored and prepared); or fish that eat oysters (which might have bacteria in their digestive tracts). This is why it's important to cook oysters completely, especially if you're at high risk for vibriosis.

So far, authorities say there have been several deaths along the East Coast this summer.

There's no reason for panic but you should take it seriously because New Jersey reports illnesses caused by Vibrio Vulnificus each year.

They say there is virtually no way to detect if your oysters are contaminated. The best way to prevent infection is to be sure the food thoroughly cooked.

Some symptoms associated with this infection include,

  • Watery diarrhea
  • Stomach cramping
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

They say that if you're infected, you'll start seeing symptoms within a day or two.

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