A Florida man who ate raw oysters has died after contracting an infection from Vibrio vulnificus bacteria, according to local health officials.
The 71-year-old man ate oysters at a Sarasota restaurant and died two days later.
"We have an individual that consumed some raw oysters and to the best of our knowledge had no exposure to salt water, became severely ill, and passed away," Michael Drennon, Disease Intervention Services Program Manager at the Sarasota County Health Dept., told WTVT.
According to health officials, the bacteria can be found in saltwater at any time and in raw or undercooked shell fish.
Drennon warned: "We tell everybody regardless of age or immune status that they should avoid eating raw or undercooked shell fish or seafood or avoid being in the saltwater when they have an open wound or lesion on their body."
Typical symptoms for the infection include fever, diarrhea, and vomiting, but in rare cases, the bacteria can become a "flesh-eating disease."
Officials are working with the restaurant to collect as much information as possible.