For many people, a fresh plate of shucked oysters covered in Tabasco, horseradish and lemon sounds delicious and are ready to dive in.
However, a recent death caused by the delicious seafood killed a Sarasota County, Florida man and now everyone is afraid to partake in this widely popular seafood meal.
The man enjoyed a plate of raw oysters on July 8th at a local Sarasota restaurant.
For now, the police and health department have decided to keep the name of the victim and restaurant from the public.
Just two short days after the man enjoyed his meal at the restaurant, he quickly fell ill. He ended up dying from a contracted bacterial infection called Vibrio Vulnificus.
Statement From County Health Department In Sarasota
The health department for the county made a statement regarding what happened to the man.
They said he ate raw oysters and had no exposure to any salt water leading up to his passing.
They said he became very ill shortly after his visit to the restaurant in question and ended up passing away at the hospital.
Who Can Contract Vibrio Vulnificus Bacterial Infections?
This bacteria can be exposed to anyone who visits brackish or saltwater areas. The bacteria can also survive in undercooked or raw shellfish such as oysters.
The bacteria can be contracted throughout the year, but it is more prevalent during the months of May, June, July, August, September and October when the weather is warmer.
If someone who comes into contact with the bacteria has an open wound on their skin, it can end up turning into a flesh-eating disease.
When consumed, the results are much different and those who have specific health conditions are at an increased risk of contracting the disease.
Common Symptoms Associated With Contracting Vibrio Vulnificus
Each year, around 80,000 illnesses are reported as a result of this bacterial infection.
Of these cases, around 52,000 are a result of contaminated food being consumed. Some of the symptoms that result can include:
•Low blood pressure
•Warm, red and blistering skin that could need to be amputated in severe cases.
Health Conditions That Put People At A Higher Risk Of Contracting Vibrio Vulnificus
Most healthy people are able to fully recover from a Vibrio Vulnificus infection in a matter of days.
However, people who suffer from certain health conditions are at a significantly higher risk of the disease. Some of the diseases include:
•Liver disease (hepatitis, cirrhosis and hemochromatosis)
•Chronic alcohol abuse
•Low levels of stomach acidity (including taking antacids)
•AIDS or HIV infection
Tips For The Prevention Of Contracting Vibrio Vulnificus
Even if you do not suffer from any of the listed health conditions, you should still take preventative measures to lower your risk of contracting the infection. Some tips include:
•Don’t eat raw shellfish (oysters included)
•Cook shellfish thoroughly before consuming
•Avoid salt water and brackish water when you have open wounds
•Wear protective clothing when cooking or handling raw shellfish