Sarasota, Fla. — Health officials say a man died from a bacterial infection after eating a bad oyster in Sarasota last week. According to the Florida Department of Health, the 71-year-old man died of vibrio on July 10 after eating the oyster.
A department spokesman tells us the man had underlying medical conditions.
The department has not released the name of the restaurant where the man ate the oyster. The department of health website says this is the first confirmed case and death of Vibrio vulnificus in Sarasota County this year. Sarasota County didn't have any cases or deaths in 2017. There were three confirmed cases and one death in 2016.
Vibrio vulnificus is a bacterium that lives in warm, brackish seawater, according to the department of health. You can get infected by eating raw shellfish, particularly oysters, or by exposing open wounds to seawater.
Health officials say you should not go into the water if you have fresh cuts or scrapes. They also advise people with weakened immune systems to wear proper foot protection on the beach to prevent cuts and injuries from rocks and shells.
You can also prevent Vibrio vulnificus infections by not eating raw oysters or other shellfish, avoiding cross-contamination of cooked seafood with raw seafood.