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The 71-year-old Sarasota man was said to have eaten the contaminated oysters on July 8 and died two days later, according to the Florida Department of Health.

Florida Department of Health Sarasota County Steve Huard says that the man got Vibrio vulnificus from eating the oyster.

Vibrio vulnificus bacteria is found in raw or undercooked shell fish, especially during the summer months when salt water temperatures are higher. The name of the restaurant that served the oyster has not been released.

Health officials say that the man's death was caused by a bacteria known as Vibrio vulnificus, which is commonly found in oysters and other types of seafood.

The Florida Department of Health said symptoms include diarrhea, fever and general symptoms associated with gastrointestinal illness, WWSB reports. The bacterium usually thrives in warm and blackish sea water. Infections are rare but they can be contracted by eating tainted raw shellfish - such as oysters - or by exposing open wounds to salt water.

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Make sure to never eat raw shellfish and always choose cooked oysters or clams when dining out.

Anyone with a weak immune system is advised to wear sandals or flip flops when entering the water to lower the risk of getting cut or scraped by seashells.

Though sometimes labeled a "flesh-eating" bacteria, Vibrio vulnificus can not attack healthy skin, the Sun-Sentinel reported. "That can progress to a severe illness where you get the bacteria into your blood causing you to be more sick", Said Drennon. About 1 in 4 of these cases lead to death, sometimes within a day or two of being infected, according to the CDC.

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

So far this year, there have been a total of 16 cases of Vibrio vulnificus statewide in Florida with three confirmed deaths.


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