A 71-year-old man died after eating an oyster that had flesh eating bacteria on it, WWSB reports.
State health officials tell 10News he ate the oyster on July 8 and was pronounced dead 48 hours later.
This is the first confirmed case of the Vibrio bacteria this year in Sarasota, according to Florida Health. According to the department's website, there were no similar cases in 2017, while three cases were recorded back in 2016.
The department has not released the name of the restaurant where the man ate the oyster.
"Vibrio is a bacteria and it lives in saltwater, or brackish water, so any water that has salt in it and it's there essentially all of the time", Said Michael Drennon, who is the Disease Intervention Services Program Manager for Florida Department of Health Sarasota County.
While Vibrio vulnificus is sometimes known as 'flesh-eating bacteria, ' the label is misleading because humans with healthy skin are not at risk. While infections are rare, people can contract the bacteria by eating contaminated raw shellfish, or by exposing open wounds such as cuts or scrapes to water. The Florida Department of Health said if you are infected, you could see these signs.
You can also prevent Vibrio vulnificus infections by not eating raw oysters or other shellfish, avoiding cross-contamination of cooked seafood with raw seafood.
He also said some people use the trick of only eating raw seafood during the months that end with "R".
Infection by Vibrio vulnificus is characterized by fever, chills, decreased blood pressure and blistering skin lesions. But an infection can become more serious, leading to lethal in those with a compromised immune system, especially folks suffering from chronic liver disease.
"Most infections occur from May through October when water temperatures are warmer".