About This Disease

Vibriosis is an illness caused by bacteria in the same family that cause Cholera. Large outbreaks have been associated with Cholera, however Vibriosis has been associated with sporadic reports and few outbreaks and septicemia. Countries reporting sporadic cases and outbreaks are Japan, Southeast Asia, and United States.

Signs and Symptoms

  • Watery, sometimes bloody diarrhea
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Nausea, vomiting, fever, chills, and headache
  • Symptoms usually appear 12–24 hours after eating contaminated seafood


You can get vibriosis by eating raw, undercooked fish or shellfish taken from contaminated coastal waters. You can also get vibriosis from any food cross-contaminated with raw seafood, or by rinsing foods with contaminated seawater. Also, when you have open cuts or wounds and exposed to contaminated seawater. Vibriosis is not passed person to person.



Severe diarrhea and/or vomiting over a long time may cause the body to lose fluid too quickly. Lost fluids should be replaced by drinking liquids such as fruit juices, soups, and special fluids called oral rehydration salts. If you become hospitalized, sometimes fluids can be replaced through the veins. A doctor may also treat with medicines to shorted the period of diarrhea and passing the bacteria in the stool.


There is no immunity to Vibriosis. Persons may become infected more than once.

Risk in Hawaii

Hawaii being in a coastal region has reported cases of Vibriosis. Cases have been reported with exposure to eating raw oysters, shrimp, and other shellfish. Also, cases have been reported with people having exposure to seawater and experiencing a cut or wound during the water exposure.


  • Be aware of the risks associated with eating raw or undercooked seafood
  • Cook seafood to an internal temperature of 158 degree F for minimum of 15 minutes
  • Refrigerate raw seafood (especially seafood) as soon as possible

Additional Resources

Information for Clinicians

Vibriosis under Hawaii Administrative Rules is a reportable disease, under the Routine/enteric category which requires a telephone report if the individual case is a food handler, direct care provider, or pre-school aged child. Otherwise a written Communicable Disease Report (CDR) may be submitted by mail.