Man dies of bacterial infection after eating tainted oyster at Florida restaurant


- Health officials say that a 71-year-old man died after eating a bad oyster in Sarasota earlier this month.

So far this year, there have been a total of 16 cases of Vibrio vulnificus statewide in Florida with three confirmed deaths.

According to WFLA News Channel 8, the health department said the man had some underlying medical issues.

The name of the restaurant where the man ate the oyster was not released.

There is an investigation protcol in place that notifies the restaurant and determines the batch where the oyster came from so that sale of that specific batch can be stopped.

Two days later, the man was dead, WWSB reports.

Through this oyster, he contracted a gastrointestinal illness related to a flesh-eating bacteria on the oyster.

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The most common symptoms of Vibrio vulnificus infection include diarrhea as well as vomiting which can get worse and can reach to a point where the patient needs to get hospitalised.

The illness was caused by Vibrio vulnificus, officials said.

Anyone with a weak immune system is advised to wear sandals or flip flops when entering the water to lower the risk of getting cut or scraped by seashells.

Vibrio vulnificus is a species of bacteria found in undercooked shellfish, particularly oysters, that can cause serious and sometimes fatal illnesses in humans.

Last year, Manatee County had two cases of flesh eating bacteria and Sarasota County had none. One study conducted by the Florida state health office found the infection was the leading cause of death from foodborne illness between 1981 and 1992.

The health officials have urged people, regardless of their age or their immune status, to avoid eating seafood or undercooked or raw shellfish and staying away from seawater in case they have an open lesion or wound on their body.

Hurricane floodwaters after Harvey resulted in at least one fatality from flesh-eating bacteria and there were several Vibrio deaths after Katrina. In 2016, there were 46 confirmed cases statewide and 10 fatalities.