Bacterial infection kills man who ate raw oyster at Florida restaurant

Florida resident dies from bacterial infection after eating oyster

A 71-year-old man from Sarasota County, Florida died from a bacterial infection he got after eating a bad oyster. However, the health department says that they can not provide the name of the restaurant the man purchased the oyster at or its specific location.

The news comes from the Florida Department of Health, which revealed that the raw oysters were tainted with a bacterium called Vibrio vulnificus, commonly mislabeled as the "flesh-eating bacterium".

"That site may be tender, raw, warm to the touch, kind of appear as a skin infection and then once again as the bacteria progresses or infection progresses, it can get into the blood causing a more severe illness", Drennon said. "We tell everybody regardless of age or immune status that they should avoid eating raw or undercooked shell fish or seafood or avoid or being in the salt water when they have an open wound or lesion on their body", Drennon said.

This is the first confirmed case of the Vibrio bacteria this year in Sarasota, according to Florida Health.

The best method of prevention is to simply avoid eating oysters raw.

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These bacteria thrive in brackish water - water that's salty, but not quite at seawater levels, which is where oysters are often harvested from.

Anyone with a weak immune system is advised to wear sandals or flip flops when entering the water to lower the risk of getting cut or scraped by seashells.

For people with serious vibriosis, antibiotics can treat some cases. About 1 in 4 of these cases lead to death, sometimes within a day or two of being infected, according to the CDC.

So far, Hillsborough County has had a single case that resulted in death. Warmer waters (which are becoming more common) make raw oysters riskier to consume, Bill Marler, a lawyer who focuses on food poisoning cases, previously told Business Insider.

Still, these cases are rare.

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