Published: Sep 03, 2014 4:04 PM EDT
Updated: Sep 03, 2014 4:44 PM EDT

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla, - Another person was infected with a potentially deadly bacteria, which is found in warm water.

The Charlotte County Health Department says three people there have gotten sick from Vibrio vulnificus.

The waterborne bacteria has infected 16 people in Florida in 2014, including two people in Lee County.

"The optimal environment is warm water -- salt water," said Ana Scuteri, an epidemiologist.  "And this is what we have in this area."

Scuteri said Vibrio can enter the body through an open wound, or by eating raw shellfish.

The health department warns doctors to look for certain symptoms, which Scuteri says can show up one to three days after exposure.

 "You get vomiting, diarrhea. If you have an open cut, you can get an infection around the area," Scuteri said. "If you are immunocompromised and you do not seek medical care, sometimes it can go into your bloodstream and it can cause death."

Scuteri said the elderly and people with pre-existing illness that impact the immune system carry the highest risk, but the disease is treatable and preventable.

Three people have died of Vibrio in Florida this year.  One of those deaths was in Lee County.