People can get infected with Vibrio vulnificus when they eat raw shellfish, particularly oysters.
The bacterium is frequently isolated from oysters and other shellfish in warm coastal waters during the summer months.
Vibrio vulnificus can cause disease in those who eat contaminated seafood or have an open wound that is exposed to warm seawater containing the bacteria.
Ingestion of Vibrio vulnificus can cause vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain.
The department said tips for preventing infections included not eating raw oysters or other raw shellfish, eat shellfish promptly after cooking and refrigerate leftovers and avoid cross-contamination of cooked seafood and other foods with raw seafood and its juices.
A total of 41 people were affected with 12 deaths reported last year.