Contributing to that report was Rita Colwell, a professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and University of Maryland, College Park, who has studied vibrio for decades.
In an interview, she said the bacteria thrive because the salty waters are warming and because runoff polluted with nutrients is fueling growth of plankton, which feeds critters that host vibrio. In dense concentrations, the vibrio make people sick.
If the waters continue to warm and pollution increases, the bacteria will remain out of balance and cases will tick up, she said.
"I don't anticipate a large outbreak," she said. "But people need to take precautions, use common sense."
How to avoid vibrio infections
Here are some tips from public health officials:
•Don't swim with an open cut or wound.
•If you do get cut while in the water, wash the wound with soap.
•Do not swallow water while swimming.
•Shower after contact with natural waters.
•Avoid swimming for 48 hours after heavy rainfall.
•Wash hands before handling food or eating.
•Boil live oysters or clams for three to five minutes after their shells open (consuming alcohol or hot sauce does not kill bacteria). Text NEWS to 70701 to get Baltimore Sun local news text alerts