He Ate a Bad Oyster, Died 2 Days Later

Faith Castro
July 19, 2018

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 man died on July 10 after eating at an unidentified restaurant in Sarasota County, according to the Florida Department of Health.

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

While Vibrio vulnificus is sometimes known as 'flesh-eating bacteria, ' the label is misleading because humans with healthy skin are not at risk.

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Michael Drennon, the Disease Intervention Services Program Manager for Florida Department of Health Sarasota County, told ABC7 Sarasota that symptoms such as diarrhea, fever and general symptoms associated with gastrointestinal illness "can progress to a severe illness where you get the bacteria into your blood causing you to be more sick". It reported three cases with a single fatality in 2017, and two cases in 2016 — one of which leading to a death.

Vibrio vulnificus is also referred to as a "flesh-eating bacteria". If the infection is contracted through the skin, it can lead to skin breakdown and ulcers. "Vibrio vulnificus bloodstream infections are fatal about 50 percent of the time".

"If you have a wound (including cuts and scrapes), avoid contact with brackish or saltwater or cover the wound with a waterproof bandage if there's a possibility it could come into contact with brackish or salt water, raw seafood, or raw seafood juices", the U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said. And, anyone eating shellfish should make sure their food is thoroughly cooked. Amputation of the infected limb may also become necessary.

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