Man dies after eating raw oysters tainted with 'flesh-eating' bacteria


According to the Florida Department of Health, the 71-year-old man died of vibrio on July 10 after eating the oyster.

A Sarasota man died of a flesh-eating bacteria after eating raw oysters.

Skin lesions caused by Vibrio vulnificus bacteria after Hurricane Katrina. "Vibrio vulnificus is a naturally occurring bacteria in warm, salty or brackish water", Florida Department of Health said.

The CDC warned that it is impossible to tell if an oyster is bad just by looking at it and advised that cooking them properly is the only way to kill harmful bacteria.

There are approximately 80,000 vibriosis infections in the USA every year, according to the CDC.

"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.

Others who should avoid consuming raw shellfish are those with hemochromatosis (iron overload), diabetes, cancer, stomach disorders or any illness or treatment that weakens the immune system.

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Symptoms can include diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, fever and chills, rapid pulse, rapid breathing, wound infections and intestinal infections.

Most people with mild cases of vibriosis recover in about three days, with no lasting effects. Amputation of the infected limb may also become necessary. In 2017, 11 people died after contracting the infection, out of 49 confirmed cases reported throughout the state.

Anyone can become sick from vibrosis, although it is rare. People with liver conditions are much more likely to get severely ill. The Florida Department of Health said if you are infected, you could see these signs.

"Water and wounds do not mix".

Florida Health recommends not going in the water if you have fresh cuts or scrapes.

Make sure to never eat raw shellfish and always choose cooked oysters or clams when dining out.

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