Man dies from flesh-eating bacteria after eating bad oysters

Florida health officials revealed that flesh-eating bacteria in raw oysters killed a 71-year-old man

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

A 71-year-old Florida man has died from bacteria that he got from eating raw oysters, state authorities have said.

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

Vibrio vulnificus is a rare disease but infections will lead to vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain, according to the departments website. Officials say people can get infected by eating raw shellfish, particularly oysters, or by swimming in the ocean with open wounds. If the infection is contracted through the skin, it can lead to skin breakdown and ulcers. And, anyone eating shellfish should make sure their food is thoroughly cooked.

Health officials are investigating and working with the restaurant to collect as much information as possible, they said.

People with weakened immune systems or open wounds are at a greater risk for infection.

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Infections are more likely between May and October when the water is warmer.

"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, who is the Disease Intervention Services Program Manager for Florida Department of Health Sarasota County. The county, according to the department, didn't have any cases or deaths in 2017, and three confirmed cases and one death in 2016.

So far, Hillsborough County has had a single case that resulted in death.

As for Big Bend counties, Wakulla and Jackson counties have both had one confirmed case each.

Last year, Manatee County had two cases of flesh eating bacteria and Sarasota County had none. The Wakulla County case occurred in 2016 while the Jackson County case was reported in 2018 and was fatal.

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