Missouri man dies after eating raw oysters. How to avoid the disease that killed him

A Missouri man died of vibriosis Thursday, June 8, after he ate raw oysters he purchased from a seafood stand, authorities said.

The unidentified 54-year-old man died after he was infected with the bacteria Vibrio vulnificus, which can be carried in oysters and other shellfish, according to St. Louis County Department of Public Health.

County health department investigators found the man ate the oysters sometime in the week before his death. He was treated at an area hospital and died on June 8, officials said.

The man purchased the oysters from The Fruit Stand & Seafood in Manchester, Missouri, about 20 miles west of St. Louis. County health officials are urging anyone who recently purchased oysters from the market to dispose of them as investigators work to determine the source of the oysters.

“There is no evidence that the business did anything to contaminate the oysters, which likely were already contaminated when the establishment received them,” health department investigators said in a press release.

Officials added all of the remaining oysters in the market were embargoed by the health department.

Symptoms of vibriosis include abdominal cramping, nausea, vomiting, fever and chills, according to the St. Louis County Department of Public Health.

The department noted severe illness and death from vibriosis is rare and typically occurs in people with a weakened immune system.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said people can reduce their risk of vibriosis by following these tips:

  • Always cook oysters or other shellfish before eating: Don’t eat them raw or undercooked.
  • Always wash your hands with soap and water after handling raw shellfish.
  • Avoid cross-contaminating cooked shellfish with raw shellfish and its juices.
  • Stay out of salt water or brackish water if you have a wound (including from a recent surgery, piercing or tattoo) if there’s a possibility it could come into contact with salt water or brackish water, raw seafood or raw seafood juices, or cover the wound with a waterproof bandage.
  • Wash cuts thoroughly with soap and water if they have been exposed to seawater or raw seafood or its juices.
  • Contact your medical provider if you develop a skin infection or if your skin has come into contact with salt water or brackish water, raw seafood or raw seafood juices.

This article was originally published on TODAY.com