Flesh-eating bacteria in raw oysters kill Florida man, health officials say

Flesh-eating bacteria in raw oysters kill Florida man, health officials say

Flesh-eating bacteria in raw oysters kill Florida man, health officials say

A 71-year-old Sarasota man has died from a bacterial infection days after eating a raw oyster at a Sarasota County restaurant, according to the Florida Department of Health.

The report said the Sarasota man died from a gastro-intestinal illness.

State health officials tell 10News he ate the oyster on July 8 and was pronounced dead 48 hours later.

The restaurant where the oyster was served was not immediately identified.

Vibrio vulnificus is a bacterium that normally lives in warm, brackish seawater and is part of a group of vibrios that are called "halophilic" because they require salt, health officials say.

Health officials said that the incident was the first case of death from vibrio in the county this year. The county did not have any vibrio cases a year ago but there were confirmed cases and one death in 2016.

Infection by Vibrio vulnificus is characterized by fever, chills, decreased blood pressure and blistering skin lesions.

WWSB also warns that bacteria can enter the system through an open wound, so be wary swimming with cuts. Instead they should ensure that their shellfish are cooked thoroughly.

"Infections are rare but exposures occur more commonly during the summer months from May to October, when the water is warmer", department officials said in an email reply. Manatee County has had one case of flesh eating bacteria so far in 2018, but no fatalities.

Through this oyster, he contracted a gastrointestinal illness related to a flesh-eating bacteria on the oyster.

The Department of Health confirmed the man's death to the South Florida Sun Sentinel. Individuals who exhibit symptoms after entering the water with open wounds or after eating raw shellfish are urged to see their doctor.

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