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Florida resident dies from bacterial infection after eating oyster

19 July 2018

The Florida Department of Health tells WFLA the 71-year-old man died on July 10 of Vibrio vulnificus after consuming a bad oyster at a restaurant two days earlier.

State health officials tell 10News he ate the oyster on July 8 and was pronounced dead 48 hours later.

Vibrio vulnificus is sometimes referred to as a "flesh-eating bacteria" but health officials say that label is misleading because it can not attack healthy skin. Sarasota had no cases in 2017, and had three confirmed cases of the bacteria and a single death from infection in 2016.

The Florida Department of Health has revealed that an elderly man died from bacterial infection after eating tainted oyster at a restaurant.

While Vibrio vulnificus is sometimes known as 'flesh-eating bacteria, ' the label is misleading because humans with healthy skin are not at risk.

The Department of Health confirmed the man's death to the South Florida Sun Sentinel.

Health officials often advise bathers who want to go swimming in lakes, beaches, or rivers not to enter the water if they have cuts or scrapes. You can get infected by eating raw shellfish, particularly oysters, or by exposing open wounds to seawater.

Another way of contracting the illness is from going into salt water with an open wound.

Last year, Manatee County had two cases of flesh eating bacteria and Sarasota County had none.

"Infections are rare but exposures occur more commonly during the summer months from May to October, when the water is warmer", department officials said in an email reply.

Infection by Vibrio vulnificus is characterized by fever, chills, decreased blood pressure and blistering skin lesions. If you have a compromised immune system, the bacteria can infect the bloodstream, causing "septicemia, which can cause severe or deadly infections in other parts of the body".

Florida resident dies from bacterial infection after eating oyster