SARASOTA, Florida -- A 71-year-old man has died after contracting a bacterial infection from a bad oyster he ate at a Sarasota-area restaurant last week, according to CBS affiliate WWSB.
State health officials tell WWSB he ate the oyster on July 8 and was pronounced dead 48 hours later.
Vibrio vulnificus, as the bacteria is technically known, occurs naturally in warm, salty or brackish water.
Infections are more likely between May and October when the water is warmer. But, such infections are still rare. In 2018, there have been less than five cases reported in Florida, WTSP found.
People with weakened immune systems or open wounds are at a greater risk for infection. Florida health officials say anyone with open wounds should keep them covered with clean, dry bandages when swimming. And, anyone eating shellfish should make sure their food is thoroughly cooked.
The restaurant where the oyster was served was not immediately identified.