A 68-year-old man with alcohol addiction, who lived in the suburbs of Tsuyama, an inland city located in northeast Okayama prefecture, was transported to the emergency unit of the Tsuyama Central Hospital in a state of cardiopulmonary arrest (CPA). Despite rigorous systemic investigation and treatment, the patient died 2 hours after arrival. After his death, Vibrio vulnificus was isolated from his blood culture.
Vibrio vulnificus causes fatal infection in humans, usually only in areas located close to the sea where appropriate temperature and suitable salt concentration for its growth are available. Therefore, its occurrence is epidemiologically restricted ; in Japan, the western coastal areas, especially in summers, are reported to be the high-risk regions. This is a rare case because it occurred in a city approximately 50 kilometers from both the Sea of Japan and the Pacific coast of Okayama, and at the end of October in 2011. Economic development and distribution systems have made it possible to transport various food products from coastal areas or abroad to any place in a short time, such that these infections can potentially develop in areas other than expected. We should be aware of the increasing risk of Vibrio vulnificus infection during any season and at any place, especially in patients with abnormal liver function.