Sarasota Man Dies From Infectious Bacteria After Eating Oysters
SARASOTA, FLORIDA — July 19, 2018
A 71-year-old Sarasota man died two days after eating contaminated oysters in a restaurant on July 8.
The name of the restaurant has not yet been released.
According to the Florida Department of Health, the bacteria, called Vibrio vulnificus, is often associated with eating raw or undercooked shellfish or entering into warm coastal waters with exposed wounds.
The symptoms of the infection are vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. If the infection is contracted through the skin, it can lead to skin blemishes and ulcers.
If the bacteria enters the bloodstream, the infection can become even more serious with a 50% mortality rate.
It is recommended that people do not eat raw shellfish, particularly oysters, since the bacteria exists year round in warm, brackish seawater, according to the department statement.
"Before the book meal, you should ensure that their shellfish are cooked thoroughly." said in a statement.
If you enter the brackish sea water with an open wound, you need to wrap or protect it thoroughly.
If you believe that you have been infected or any of these symptoms occur soon after eating raw shellfish or entering the water with open wounds, you should confer with a doctor immediately.
"Infections are rare but exposures occur more commonly during the summer months from May to October, when the water is warmer," department officials said. "So far this year, there have been a total of 16 cases of Vibrio vulnificus statewide with three confirmed deaths."
Healthy individuals will normally develop a mild disease from infection, health officials said. But an infection can become more serious, and even become lethal for those with a compromised immune system, especially those suffering from chronic liver disease.
In fact, such occurrences are not uncommon in Florida.
As for this case, it is the first this year in Sarasota, according to Florida Health. Sarasota had no cases in 2017 and had three confirmed cases of the bacteria and a single death from infection in 2016.
There were likewise no cases in Pinellas County. There were only two fatality cases in 2016 and 2017. There were such cases in Hernando County in 2016 as well.
Hillsborough County has had a single case which resulted in death. There were four confirmed cases in 2017 and one in 2016, with no deaths. Pasco County had two cases in 2017.