Vibrio vulnificus is a naturally occurring bacteria that resides in warm, brackish seawater.
The man died on July 10 after eating at an unidentified restaurant in Sarasota County, according to the Florida Department of Health.
The 71-year-old man ate oysters at a Sarasota restaurant and died two days later.
Michael Drennon, the Disease Intervention Services Program Manager for Florida Department of Health Sarasota County, told ABC7 Sarasota that symptoms such as diarrhea, fever and general symptoms associated with gastrointestinal illness "can progress to a severe illness where you get the bacteria into your blood causing you to be more sick". The particular type of bacterial in question is not considered flesh-eating.
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Healthy individuals will normally develop a mild disease from infection, health officials said.
This bacteria is known to thrive in warm, salty water, which is why it can be found in shellfish, especially in the summer.
The man had underlying medical conditions, a Florida Department of Health spokesman told WTLV-TV.
There are approximately 80,000 vibriosis infections in the U.S. every year, according to the CDC.
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"Vibriosis causes an estimated 80,000 illnesses and 100 deaths in the United States every year", according to the Centers for Disease Control.
But the species the Florida man consumed, Vibrio vulnificus, is more risky. But it's very rare; the CDC estimates are that there are about 205 cases in the USA every year.
This is the first case and fatality involving flesh eating bacteria in Sarasota County this year.
According to the CDC, there's no way to know if an oyster carries bacteria like Vibrio. There were three confirmed cases and one death in 2016. During that time there were at least 72 infections, mostly caused by eating raw oysters, and 36 deaths.
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They also should not enter the water with an open wound, but should wrap or protect any wounds before entering brackish sea water.