Dare County releases video on Recreational Water Illness 

By on August 24, 2023


Release comes amid new report of Vibrio-related fatality in county

Amid reports of a possible second Dare County fatality resulting from infection with the Vibrio bacteria in the past two months, the Dare County Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) released on Aug. 24 a “Recreational Water Illness Educational Video.”

The statement issued with the video indicates that, “There has been a notable uptick in reported Vibrio infections recently, not only in Dare County but along the entire East Coast. This is due to increased water temperatures. Warmer temperatures create opportunities for the bacteria, which are naturally occurring in some coastal water, to multiply. Individuals may get Vibrio infections through injuries, such as a puncture wound from finfish or shellfish, exposure of open wounds to warm coastal waters or by eating raw or undercooked shellfish, especially oysters.”

The newest likely case of a Vibrio-related death is Endurance Seafood Company owner Murray Bridges, who passed away on Aug. 22. The DHHS has not yet confirmed that case as a Vibrio fatality, but in the new statement, it does refer to it as a “probable case and fatality.”

Here is the new information from the department.

As we head into the final weeks of summer, the Dare County Department of Health & Human Services would like to remind the public to be aware of and take preventative measures to reduce their risk of Vibrio infections as well as other recreational water-related illnesses (RWIs).

Dare County has received three confirmed reports of infections caused by Vibrio bacteria since late July 2023. Of the three cases, there has been one confirmed fatality, with an additional probable case and fatality occurring this week. One case was foodborne, with the individual becoming infected after consuming raw oysters. Three of the reported cases involved individuals who had open wounds or cuts that came into contact with waters in Buzzard Bay in Kill Devil Hills, and the Atlantic Ocean in Nags Head.

In addition to the Vibrio cases, one case of RWI was reported to the Dare County Department of Health & Human Services in July of this year. That case was caused by contact with Cryptosporidium and most likely associated with swimming in the Currituck Sound.

In an effort to further educate the public on enjoying the water more safely, a video has been released providing recommendations to help avoid contracting RWIs. These safety recommendations can help prevent all RWIs, including Vibrio.  For additional safety tips, as well as more detailed information on Vibrio and other types of RWIs, please visit www.DareNC.gov/RWI.



  • Maybe

    Maybe look into the raw sewage being dumped in lower Currituck. The run off is directly funneled to the sounds. All the septic from Dare is trucked to a few sludge fields in Currituck. With all the revenue being generated in Dare county a treatment plant seems like it would be a step in the right direction.

    Friday, Aug 25 @ 1:21 am
  • sunbum4

    Sounds like “Maybe” knows what they’re talking about. Dare Co. is long overdue for a treatment plant. Also, GROSS that raw sewage is being dumped into the sound and no one is doing anything about it. Not Okay!!!

    Friday, Aug 25 @ 9:06 am
  • WindyBill

    Sewage from Licensed pumping companies is discharged onto dry unused farm fields that do Not runoff directly into the sounds. Those fields must remain unused for a year, and much longer for below ground crops. The Dare and Currituck Environmental Health Departments put safety First and second. Maybe and sunbum either don’t have a clue and want hysteria, or are influenced by an entity that wants to operate a sewer plant for profit.

    Friday, Aug 25 @ 12:29 pm
  • Chris Smith

    Never thought in all my years living here fishing crabbing or shrimping would kill me if I have an open wound. Yeah you can get fish poison go to the doctor get a shot and be ok 99% of the time. I know someone out there will challenge what I just said because they have nothing better to do. There’s to much waste. This goes back to a piece of land that can’t handle what’s happening here. AW!!! BUT WHAT THE HELL WHO CARES RIGHT. Not the tourists just us,like always were left to deal with it. Why don’t yall that have pools ask the towns why your water straight out the hose is turning your pool green this year. A shit-ton of phosphates there pumping through the pipes trying to deal with the CRAP!!!!!

    Saturday, Aug 26 @ 9:02 pm