Florida man Dies after Eating Raw Oysters

Trevor BaileyJul 21, 2018

A 71-year-old man from Sarasota County, Florida died from a bacterial infection he got after eating a bad oyster.

"We have an individual that consumed some raw oysters and to the best of our knowledge had no exposure to salt water, became severely ill, and passed away", Michael Drennon of the Sarasota County Health Dept. said, via WJAX.

According to WFLA News Channel 8, the health department said the man had some underlying medical issues.

Authorities have so far refused to reveal the man's identity and the name of the restaurant.

Vibrio illness symptoms may include diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain, chills, fever, shock, skin lesions and breakdown and wound infections.

Because the water is warmer, bacteria become more prevalent.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, vibriosis is caused by certain strains of Vibrio bacteria, which lives in salt water and may be present in raw or undercooked oysters. "Most infections occur from May through October when water temperatures are warmer". Nonetheless, it said that this is the first confirmed case and death of Vibrio vulnificus in Sarasota County this year. Of the 80,000 illnesses caused by vibriosis each year, about 52,000 of them were a result of eating contaminated food, according to the CDC. When hit by a flesh-eating bacteria in human blood, the risk of death reaches 50%.

Vibrio vulnificus is a species of bacteria found in undercooked shellfish, particularly oysters, that can cause serious and sometimes fatal illnesses in humans. People with weakened immune systems are more at risk.

Suspected cases of Vibrio vulnificus need to be immediately treated with antibiotics to improve their survival. It reported three cases with a single fatality in 2017, and two cases in 2016 — one of which leading to a death.

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