A 54-year-old man has died after eating raw oysters purchased from a seafood stand in Missouri, health officials say.
The oysters were believed to have already been contaminated with the Vibrio vulnificus bacteria when they arrived at the Fruit Stand & Seafood in Manchester, St Louis.
St Louis County Public health issued an alert for the public to dispose of all oysters purchased at the business.
Vibrio vulnificus bacteria causes an estimated 80,000 illnesses and 100 deaths every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
According to St Louis County officials, the unidentified man fell ill after eating oysters bought at the stand some time in the past week.
He was taken to St Claire Hospital where he died on Thursday.
The Department of Health and Senior Services were notified the next day, and are investigating the death.
They said the Fruit Stand & Seafood was cooperating with the investigation and there was no evidence to suggest the business did anything to contaminate them.
Health officials are trying to determine where the oysters came from.
According to the CDC, Vibrio vulnificus bacteria causes no obvious changes to the look, smell or taste of contaminated oysters.
Vibrio bacteria inhabit coastal waters where oysters live, and cases are more prevalent during summer months, the CDC says.
The most common side effects are diarrhea and vomiting, while more serious cases can see bloodstream infections, severe blistering skin lesions and require limb amputations.
A scientific study published in Nature earlier this year found that cases of Vibrio vulnificus bacteria were likely to increase around areas such as New York due to warming water caused by climate change.
“The projected expansion of V. vulnificus wound infections stresses the need for increased individual and public health awareness in these areas,” the report’s authors wrote.
Last year, two people died from Vibrio bacteria after consuming uncooked oysters in Florida.
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