A Texas man met a tragic end after consuming raw oysters tainted with a dangerous bacterium. This unfortunate event underscores the critical importance of food safety.
The 30-year-old individual, whose name remains undisclosed, contracted the bacterium Vibrio vulnificus, commonly found in warm coastal waters.
Dr. Philip Keiser, from the Galveston County Health Department in Texas, likened the rapid progression of such infections to “a wildfire.”
Fatal Outcome from Contaminated Oysters in Texas
“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,” Keiser said.
The man’s risk of death was exacerbated by pre-existing liver issues and the fact that he was undergoing immunosuppressive treatment. This combination led to a severe illness caused by the bacterial infection.
“He had problems with his liver. He also had some other problems, and he had to take some medication that suppressed his immune system,” Dr. Keiser told FOX 26. “It just so happens that the conditions that he had really predisposed him to an overwhelming infection with Vibrio vulnificus.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have repeatedly sounded the alarm about the dangers of this bacterium. It’s particularly lethal for those with weakened immune systems or liver diseases. According to the CDC, Vibrio vulnificus infections have been on the rise this year, with around 12 deaths reported in the U.S.
People typically contract this bacterium through skin wounds that come into contact with raw fish or shellfish. Once infected, they might require intensive care and even face amputations. Alarmingly, about one in five individuals succumbs to the infection just 2 days after its onset.
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After consuming tainted food, the bacterium isn’t neutralized by stomach acid. Instead, it moves to the small intestine, where it multiplies and attacks surrounding tissue.
Symptoms include watery diarrhea, stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting, and fever. If the infection enters the bloodstream, it can cause fever, chills, low blood pressure, and skin blisters. In cases where the bacterium infects the skin or open wounds, symptoms can include fever, redness, pain, swelling, and discoloration.
With information from Yahoo