Vibrio Vulnificus

Posted by hzh10715 @hzh10715, Aug 3, 2022

My mom was diagnosed with Vibrio Vulnificus that she got while we were on vacation in May at Dauphin Island. We are still trying to overcome this bacterial infection because it’s hard to find much information or specialty care on an effective treatment. A culture was taken again today and sent to the Mayo Clinic again because they can see there is still some type of bacteria; however, they can’t identify the type. Last week, we were told that it had gram positive and gram negative traits. The bacteria initially entered through a wound. They’ve now placed the wound vac back on after removing it due to bleeding last week. The wound is 1.9 cm this week after being 1.7 cm deep last week. Does anyone have any idea as to what may be happening?

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Hello @hzh10715, Welcome to Connect. I know it's scary when you don't have the answers and don't know how to help. Hopefully you will get some answers for your mom from the culture that was sent to Mayo Clinic today. I did find some information on the bacteria in case you haven't seen it. Hopefully other members may have experience or information to share with you.

— July 26, 2022 – Cases of Vibrio confirmed in Mobile County: https://mynbc15.com/newsletter-daily/cases-of-vibriosis-confirmed-in-mobile-county
— Vibrio vulnificus & Wounds: https://www.cdc.gov/vibrio/wounds.html

Are you able to talk with the doctors so that they may be able to give you some information on what's going on?

REPLY
@johnbishop

Hello @hzh10715, Welcome to Connect. I know it's scary when you don't have the answers and don't know how to help. Hopefully you will get some answers for your mom from the culture that was sent to Mayo Clinic today. I did find some information on the bacteria in case you haven't seen it. Hopefully other members may have experience or information to share with you.

— July 26, 2022 – Cases of Vibrio confirmed in Mobile County: https://mynbc15.com/newsletter-daily/cases-of-vibriosis-confirmed-in-mobile-county
— Vibrio vulnificus & Wounds: https://www.cdc.gov/vibrio/wounds.html

Are you able to talk with the doctors so that they may be able to give you some information on what's going on?

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Hi @johnbishop
I appreciate the welcome and the articles. With the news article, they weren’t sharing my mom’s case in Mobile for obvious reasons. The update occurred after I replied to a Facebook posting that was downplaying the severity of Vibriosis by lumping all kinds into their statistics rather than sharing what was actually affecting some in the area. Now the spin is to speak of June and July as the “summer cases”. We were on vacation in Dauphin Island from May 22nd through the 27th. It’s not as though the temperatures increased drastically over the next 5 days. I know that summer technically started June 21st this year, but people who reside in these areas refer to summer by the holidays of Memorial Day through Labor Day. Memorial Day was the 30th. A lady from the State of Alabama Health Department was calling and speaking with my mom while she was in the hospital for 12 days. They were conducting an investigation (very quietly) in the area at that time. We did not realize that this was occurring until she asked my mom about the way some fish she had eaten at a local restaurant had been prepared. My mom didn’t know the exact species. The lady informed her that she’d eaten Grouper. Even though all of this had occurred, and the Mayo Clinic had confirmed the initial culture, the results were not shared with the public. Cases in Louisiana and Florida became public first. Those states released warnings to the public, and then Alabama followed. That part has been a learning experience in itself to watch with how it unfolds.
With regards to the research, if it’s posted online using those keywords, I’ve probably read it over the last 2 1/2 months since we’ve been back home. I’ve even found a post from the Mayo Clinic’s Infectious Diseases on Twitter that detailed a treatment plan in the initial stages. That’s the most important part to treating this infection. One must get ahead of it aggressively. One must also be receiving treatment from an Infectious Diseases Specialist. The 12 days in the hospital were a setback rather than a help because the doctors were guessing. They even admitted that they didn’t know how to effectively treat the bacteria. Getting her out and transferred became the next priority. She started having more problems when she came home. I was spending most of the days researching. This is when I learned about this species of bacteria feeding on iron. My mom wasn’t taking iron in the hospital, but she resumed when she came home. She had been feeding it and not even realizing it because the doctors didn’t know it either.
This ordeal has been enough to make me have no desires to visit a beach again anytime soon. I do get the updates from the Infectious Disease Specialist and the wound care dr. It’s truly been one of those cases where it’s one step forward and 2 steps backwards. Thank you, again, for what you shared. I can’t express how truly grateful I am for your efforts!

REPLY
@hzh10715

Hi @johnbishop
I appreciate the welcome and the articles. With the news article, they weren’t sharing my mom’s case in Mobile for obvious reasons. The update occurred after I replied to a Facebook posting that was downplaying the severity of Vibriosis by lumping all kinds into their statistics rather than sharing what was actually affecting some in the area. Now the spin is to speak of June and July as the “summer cases”. We were on vacation in Dauphin Island from May 22nd through the 27th. It’s not as though the temperatures increased drastically over the next 5 days. I know that summer technically started June 21st this year, but people who reside in these areas refer to summer by the holidays of Memorial Day through Labor Day. Memorial Day was the 30th. A lady from the State of Alabama Health Department was calling and speaking with my mom while she was in the hospital for 12 days. They were conducting an investigation (very quietly) in the area at that time. We did not realize that this was occurring until she asked my mom about the way some fish she had eaten at a local restaurant had been prepared. My mom didn’t know the exact species. The lady informed her that she’d eaten Grouper. Even though all of this had occurred, and the Mayo Clinic had confirmed the initial culture, the results were not shared with the public. Cases in Louisiana and Florida became public first. Those states released warnings to the public, and then Alabama followed. That part has been a learning experience in itself to watch with how it unfolds.
With regards to the research, if it’s posted online using those keywords, I’ve probably read it over the last 2 1/2 months since we’ve been back home. I’ve even found a post from the Mayo Clinic’s Infectious Diseases on Twitter that detailed a treatment plan in the initial stages. That’s the most important part to treating this infection. One must get ahead of it aggressively. One must also be receiving treatment from an Infectious Diseases Specialist. The 12 days in the hospital were a setback rather than a help because the doctors were guessing. They even admitted that they didn’t know how to effectively treat the bacteria. Getting her out and transferred became the next priority. She started having more problems when she came home. I was spending most of the days researching. This is when I learned about this species of bacteria feeding on iron. My mom wasn’t taking iron in the hospital, but she resumed when she came home. She had been feeding it and not even realizing it because the doctors didn’t know it either.
This ordeal has been enough to make me have no desires to visit a beach again anytime soon. I do get the updates from the Infectious Disease Specialist and the wound care dr. It’s truly been one of those cases where it’s one step forward and 2 steps backwards. Thank you, again, for what you shared. I can’t express how truly grateful I am for your efforts!

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You mentioned the bacteria entered through a wound. Seems odd that the lady from the health department was asking about the way fish she ate was prepared. Are they trying different antibiotics to see which works? Have you used Google Scholar before? I use it a lot to find the latest medical research info. Here's the link in case you haven't tried it:
https://scholar.google.com/scholar

REPLY
@johnbishop

You mentioned the bacteria entered through a wound. Seems odd that the lady from the health department was asking about the way fish she ate was prepared. Are they trying different antibiotics to see which works? Have you used Google Scholar before? I use it a lot to find the latest medical research info. Here's the link in case you haven't tried it:
https://scholar.google.com/scholar

Jump to this post

This was during the first few days while waiting for the results to be confirmed by the Mayo Clinic. They did a culture from her blood initially and determined the type of bacteria. I didn’t consider asking them if they’d done a culture from her wound as well. They had not. This was one of several reasons why I was trying to get her transferred to the University of Alabama at Birmingham. It’s not the easiest process to get done. By the time we were ready to just take her and go, she was being released because of the insurance companies becoming involved. The Infectious Disease Dr. started doing the cultures of both the blood to monitor for signs of Sepsis and the wound to check on the progress of how the antibiotics were working. This bacteria has a high death rate, 20%, and if the person has liver disease, it jumps to 80%. Just because someone survives doesn’t mean that they will not lose a limb to amputation. It was actually using Google Scholar where I learned about the iron. She’s been on numerous antibiotics, usually at least 2 at a time with one orally and one via IV. Now that they are having difficulty in identifying the bacteria, she’s not on anything until the results are in from the Mayo Clinic. The longevity of being on antibiotics is becoming a concern for me, but the most pressing issue is to get this treated effectively before Sepsis or bone involvement becomes an issue.

REPLY
@hzh10715

This was during the first few days while waiting for the results to be confirmed by the Mayo Clinic. They did a culture from her blood initially and determined the type of bacteria. I didn’t consider asking them if they’d done a culture from her wound as well. They had not. This was one of several reasons why I was trying to get her transferred to the University of Alabama at Birmingham. It’s not the easiest process to get done. By the time we were ready to just take her and go, she was being released because of the insurance companies becoming involved. The Infectious Disease Dr. started doing the cultures of both the blood to monitor for signs of Sepsis and the wound to check on the progress of how the antibiotics were working. This bacteria has a high death rate, 20%, and if the person has liver disease, it jumps to 80%. Just because someone survives doesn’t mean that they will not lose a limb to amputation. It was actually using Google Scholar where I learned about the iron. She’s been on numerous antibiotics, usually at least 2 at a time with one orally and one via IV. Now that they are having difficulty in identifying the bacteria, she’s not on anything until the results are in from the Mayo Clinic. The longevity of being on antibiotics is becoming a concern for me, but the most pressing issue is to get this treated effectively before Sepsis or bone involvement becomes an issue.

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Hoping they come up with some answers for you and a treatment quickly.

REPLY
@johnbishop

Hoping they come up with some answers for you and a treatment quickly.

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Thank you!

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