Bacterial infection kills man who ate raw oyster at Florida restaurant

Leslie Hanson
July 19, 2018

Health officials say a 71-year-old man has died after contracting flesh-eating bacteria from a bad oyster in Sarasota.

A 71-year-old Florida man has died from bacteria that he got from eating raw oysters, state authorities have said. The name of the restaurant was not released.

Vibrio vulnificus is a rare disease but infections will lead to vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain, according to the departments website.

Eating seafood or taking a swim in the water may seem like an essential summertime pastime, but you should be careful of the bacteria Vibrio vulnificus, which pops up more with the heat.

Health officials also urge people with certain health conditions to avoid eating raw oysters and other shellfish.

"That site may be tender, raw, warm to the touch, kind of appear as a skin infection and then once again as the bacteria progresses or infection progresses, it can get into the blood causing a more severe illness", Drennon said. Instead they should ensure that their shellfish are cooked thoroughly.

Healthy individuals will normally develop a mild disease from infection, health officials said.


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

If the bacteria enters the bloodstream, the infection can become even more serious with a lethal rate of about 50 percent.

Health officials say that the man's death was caused by a bacteria known as Vibrio vulnificus, which is commonly found in oysters and other types of seafood.

This is the first case and fatality involving flesh eating bacteria in Sarasota County this year.

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

Pasco County has had no cases in 2018, and one non-fatal case each in 2017 and 2017. In 2018, there have been less than five cases reported in Florida, 10Investigates found.

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