KRLD News Radio reports that a Dallas resident has died after eating raw oysters. Jamie Nicolay with the Collin County Health Department says the victim ate the oysters at a restaurant in Plano. Oysters can be contaminated with the bacterium Vibrio vulnificus.
The bacterium is naturally present in marine environments and does not alter the appearance, taste, or odor of oysters. In healthy people, ingesting V. vulnificus can cause vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain.
But in people who have chronic illnesses — especially those with chronic liver disease — V. vulnificus can infect the bloodstream, causing a severe and life-threatening illness, characterized by fever and chills, decreased blood pressure (septic shock) and blistering skin lesions.
Nicolay says restaurants are allowed to sell raw oysters as long as they warn diners about the possible risks. She suggests if you want to eat oysters, it’s best to order them cooked.