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.
Health officials say a 71-year-old man has died after contracting flesh-eating bacteria from a bad oyster in Sarasota. The name of the restaurant was not released.
Florida Health recommends not going in the water if you have fresh cuts or scrapes.
You can also prevent Vibrio vulnificus infections by not eating raw oysters or other shellfish, avoiding cross-contamination of cooked seafood with raw seafood.
The vast majority of vibriosis infections result in symptoms typical of a foodborne illness: cramping, diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, fever, and chills. But an infection can become more serious, leading to lethal in those with a compromised immune system, especially folks suffering from chronic liver disease. The bacteria does not change the appearance, odor or taste of an oyster.
They also should not enter the water with an open wound, but should wrap or protect any wounds before entering brackish sea water. About 80% of those infections occur between May and October, when water is particularly warm - ideal for colonies of bacteria to grow and thrive. Most cases are unpleasant but resolve within a few days, but infections from the species Vibrio vulnificus cause a "flesh-eating" or necrotizing fasciitis condition that kills up to 30% of those infected. Sarasota County didn't have any cases or deaths in 2017. Health officials warn against eating raw shell fish or swimming in salt water with open wounds. Manatee County has had one case of flesh eating bacteria so far in 2018, but no fatalities.