A North Carolina man has died after getting an infection often associated with shellfish, state health officials say.
The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services confirmed on Friday that the bacteria vibrio vulnificus caused the man’s death.
Infections from vibrio are typically linked to eating shellfish that are raw or undercooked, the health department says. Infections through food can cause fever, sepsis, shock, “nausea, vomiting and diarrhea,” according to officials.
“Most infections caused by Vibrio parahaemolyticus and Vibrio vulnificus in the United States can be prevented by thoroughly cooking seafood, especially oysters,” health officials say.
The North Carolina man, who has not publicly identified by health officials, had eaten oysters before his death, WECT reports.
He lives in Cary and died Thursday at WakeMed Hospital in Raleigh, according to ABC11, The News & Observer’s media partner.
Health officials didn’t share when or where he got the infection.
Vibrio species are found in salty water, according to the health department. People can also get infected through open wounds, officials say.
Most infections happen “between May and October when water temperatures are warmer,” the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says.
Nationwide, there are about 80,000 infection cases each year, according to a CDC estimate. The agency says those who get seriously sick usually have weakened immune systems.