Man passed away after eating raw oysters

Wednesday, 13/09/2023, 11:22 (GMT+7)

A man in his 30s from Texas has passed away after eating raw oysters contaminated with flesh-eating bacteria.

Local health officials revealed that the man, who remains unidentified, likely contracted a Vibrio vulnificus infection due to eating oysters containing bacteria that thrive in warm coastal waters.

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Doctors have noted a rise in Vibrio infections across the United States, prompting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to issue a warning earlier this year. At least 12 Americans have passed away from Vibrio infections this year.

Dr. Philip Keiser, representing the Galveston County Health Department, which reported the fatality, explained to ABC13: 'These infections, once they take hold, can spread extremely rapidly — like a fire.'

According to the CDC, only about 150 to 200 such deaths are reported annually. Recent research from Florida Atlantic University has identified 'flesh-eating' Vibrio bacteria as the primary cause of human deaths related to the marine environment.

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The situation has been exacerbated by floodwaters from Hurricane Idallia, which have recently spread the bacteria in southern waters, causing concern among officials.

The man who passed away was reported to have suffered from underlying health issues.

 Dr. Philip Keiser of the Galveston County Health District explained that he was taking immunosuppressant drugs and had problems with his liver, making him more susceptible to a severe infection.

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In an attempt to gain further insights into the situation, Keiser and his department have been working to find the source of the contamination.

He added: “We’ve actually gone to the restaurant where he was eating, and we pulled the oysters from the shelf. There are tags to them, so we can identify the lots, and the state is actually analyzing them to see if we can find the bug in a particular lot of oysters."

In July, the bacterium led to the deaths of two Connecticut residents. One individual contracted the infection from open wounds in water, while the other became infected after consuming raw, contaminated shellfish out of state.