Galveston County man dies from rare infection linked to consuming raw oysters

Local and national health officials are warning the public of an uptick of the rare infection tied to unusually high ocean temperatures.


Freshly shucked oysters. Taken on March 14, 2022.

Galveston County health officials are warning residents of a rare infection linked to consuming undercooked shellfish after a man died from eating raw oysters, officials said in an announcement Sept. 8.

Health official Philip Keiser said that the man was taking drugs that made him immunosuppressed and had underlying problems with his liver, according to ABC13.

The thirty-to-forty year old man from Galveston County, who died Sept. 4, had underlying health conditions that predisposed him to the Vibrio vulnificus infection and had recently eaten raw oysters, according to Galveston County Health District.

The infection can be linked to warm and brackish waters, and infections in the United States are increasing because of unusually high ocean temperatures.

Similarly, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a health advisory Sept. 1 to notify healthcare providers, laboratories and public health departments about an uptick in those infections that typically increase during the summer and in low-salt marine environments.

The CDC recommended early antibiotic therapy and surgery to decrease chances of death from Vibrio vulnificus, and suggests staying out of salt water and brackish water if you have an open wound or cut.

Symptoms of the rare infection include diarrhea, stomach cramping, nausea, vomiting, fever, chills, cellulitis and blistering lesions.