Florida resident dies from bacterial infection after eating oyster

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A 71-year-old man from Sarasota County, Florida died from a bacterial infection he got after eating a bad oyster.

Sarasota, Fla. - Health officials say a man died from a bacterial infection after eating a bad oyster in Sarasota last week.

It is recommended that folks do not eat raw shellfish, particularly oysters, since the bacteria exists year round in warm, brackish sea water, according to the department. The name of the restaurant was not released.

This is the first confirmed case of the Vibrio bacteria this year in Sarasota, according to Florida Health. Health officials, however, said this label is misleading since the bacteria do not attack healthy skin. The Florida Department of Health said if you are infected, you could see these signs.

If the bacteria enters the bloodstream, the infection can become even more serious with a lethal rate of about 50 percent. Florida health officials say anyone with open wounds should keep them covered with clean, dry bandages when swimming.

Oysters, clams, and mussels need to be cooked thoroughly since infection may be contracted through consumption of undercooked shellfish. "We tell everybody regardless of age or immune status that they should avoid eating raw or undercooked shell fish or seafood or avoid or being in the salt water when they have an open wound or lesion on their body", Drennon said.

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

Suspected cases of Vibrio vulnificus need to be immediately treated with antibiotics to improve their survival. Sarasota County didn't have any cases or deaths in 2017.

In Manatee County, there has been one case of flesh-eating bacteria so far in 2018 but no deaths. The Wakulla County case occurred in 2016 while the Jackson County case was reported in 2018 and was fatal.

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