What is Vibrio?
Vibrio spp. are bacteria that occur naturally in our coastal waters, but certain species and strains can also be harmful to human health. While rare, infection from water or foodborne exposure to Vibrio vulnificus is the most serious, often requiring hospitalization, and carries a high case fatality rate. The majority of the estimated 80,000 cases annually are associated with another member of the genus, Vibrio parahaemolyticus. Infection from this species is commonly associated with the consumption of raw or undercooked seafood, and usually results in self limiting gastroenteritis. To learn more about Vibrio, consult one of these pages from the Center for Disease Control or MD Healthy Beaches.
Why is this important?
Because of the human health consequences and association with consumption of raw seafood, state managers are responsible for regulating the shellfish industry to reduce consumer risk. Knowing where and when to expect elevated concentrations of Vibrio, and environmental conditions that promote rapid growth can inform both management and individual grower harvest decision making. Over the past decade, the scientific community has made major strides in modeling and forecasting Vibrio and our environment. By combining state of the art hydrodynamic models with specific algorithms for Vibrio, we can provide early warning of these potential coastal hazards.
Click on a region to see available tools, or the center of the map for National level products.
An assortment of predictive models and weather related tools have been assembled, primarily related to issues surrounding safe harvest of shellfish around the nation. In partnership with the US Food and Drug Administration (USFDA), state and academic partners, NOAA is working continuously through the Ecological Forecasting Roadmap to verify and improve model accuracy and resolution, and transition them to a state of operations.
Example model for predicted Doubling Time of Vibrio parahaemolyticus in New Hampshire oysters.
Example model for Temperature Warning for a growing area in Puget Sound.
Example hydrodynamic model guidance of SST for Long Island Sound
As a work in progress, current Vibrio models displayed here are considered experimental products, and thus NOAA will not be held liable from issues arising from their interpretation and use.