A King County woman has been diagnosed with a rare and sometimes fatal bacterial infection that may have come from fish bought from an Asian store in Bellevue.

King County health officials say a woman in her 50s was diagnosed on November 10 with a rare wound infection caused by the bacteria Vibrio vulnificus. Officials say the likely source of the bacteria was tilapia fish bought from the Asian Food Center, located at 14509 NE 20th Street in Bellevue.

The woman was hospitalized and is now recovering at home. Health officials say the infection likely happened when she was preparing the tilapia fish and cut her finger, which allowed the bacteria to enter and infect the wound.

Seattle & King County Public Health officials are testing samples of fish tanks at the Asian Food Center. They're also looking at the possibility that other seafood may have been contaminated.

Meanwhile, officials caution anyone who has handled or eaten seafood from the Bellevue Asian Food Center to seek medical care if they develop symptoms of infection within seven days:

  • a new skin infection (signs of skin infection are redness, tenderness, swelling, streaking and skin blisters)·
  • fever and chills
  • diarrhea, abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting
  • any unexplained serious illness

“Persons who prepared or consumed fish of any kind from this location should contact their healthcare provider if they develop signs of skin infection, fever, chills, or diarrhea in the seven days after contact with the fish,” said Dr. Jeff Duchin, Health Officer for Public Health – Seattle & King County. “At this time, there is no known risk for people who have not been in contact with fish from this location, but people should always take precautions when handling raw seafood.”