Published: Thu, July 19, 2018
Health Care | By Cedric Leonard

Sarasota man dies from infectious bacteria after eating raw oysters

Sarasota man dies from infectious bacteria after eating raw oysters

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

A man dined on oyster at an unnamed restaurant in Florida's Sarasota County, only to die two days later from a deadly bacteria.

The department did not disclose the name of the establishment where the man got the oysters from.

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

"Vibrio is a bacteria and it lives in saltwater, or brackish water, so any water that has salt in it, and it's there essentially all of the time", said Michael Drennon, disease intervention services program manager of the Sarasota County Florida Department of Health, to WWSB.

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Vibrio vulnificus is sometimes referred to as a "flesh-eating bacteria" but health officials say that label is misleading because it can not attack healthy skin.

This is the first case and fatality involving flesh eating bacteria in Sarasota County this year.

"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. In 2018, there have been less than five cases reported in Florida, 10Investigates found.

In Manatee County, there has been one case of flesh-eating bacteria so far in 2018 but no deaths. There were four confirmed cases in 2017 and one in 2016, with no deaths.

Health officials also urge people with certain health conditions to avoid eating raw oysters and other shellfish. "You have to have a pre-existing cut-or you have to eat raw, contaminated seafood or chug a whole lot of contaminated water-for it to get into your bloodstream; it can't break down healthy, intact skin".

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