Man dies from bacterial infection from Vibrio vulnificus in raw oysters

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A Florida man died after he consumed an oyster that contained the flesh-eating bacteria Vibrio vulnificus, according to the Florida Department of Health.

The Florida Health Department told ABC7 Sarasota that the bad oysters were eaten on July 8 and two days later the man died from gastro-intestinal illness. He died on July 10.

The Florida Department of Health says if you experience any of the symptoms of this bacteria, seek medical care immediately. "Most infections occur from May through October when water temperatures are warmer". The county, according to the department, didn't have any cases or deaths in 2017, and three confirmed cases and one death in 2016.

While neither the man's identity nor the name of the Sarasota restaurant has been released, the incident occurred earlier this month.

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. If the infection is contracted through the skin, it can lead to skin breakdown and ulcers.

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When it comes to eating raw or undercooked oysters, there is no way to know which ones contain the bacteria because oysters contaminated with Vibrio don't look, taste or smell any different than a healthy oyster, the CDC says.

Leon, Madison, Suwannee, Taylor, and Gadsden counties have had no confirmed cases of flesh eating bacteria.

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

Health officials also urge people with certain health conditions to avoid eating raw oysters and other shellfish. Those with compromised immune systems are especially vulnerable.

Suspected cases of Vibrio vulnificus need to be immediately treated with antibiotics to improve their survival.

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