What you should know about Vv A HEALTHY If you are a healthy person with a healthy immune system and no prior history of circulatory problems, you should be fine while swimming in the Gulf of Mexico. PERSPECTIVE Vv is a common bacterium that thrives in saltwater when it becomes warmer than 70 degrees. Vv cannot be detected in filter-feeding shellfish when it is present. If you have a compromised immune or a history of circulatory problems, avoid raw shellfish at all costs. Healthy or not, make sure you monitor all open wounds that have been exposed to the waters of the Gulf or to raw filterfeeding shellfish juices. Keep your eye on local news reports to find out if Vv is prevalent in your area. July/August 2017 GASPARILLA ISLAND 31 Vv How to Prevent Infections Don’t eat raw or undercooked oysters or other shellfish. Cook them before eating them, especially in the summer. Always wash your hands with soap and water after handing raw shellfish. Avoid contaminating cooked shellfish with raw shellfish and its juices. Stay out of brackish or salt water if you have a wound (including cuts and scrapes), or cover your wound with a waterproof bandage if there’s a possibility it could come into contact with brackish or saltwater, raw seafood or raw seafood juices. If you develop a skin infection, tell your medical provider if your skin has come into contact with brackish or salt water, raw seafood, or raw seafood juices.
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