I don’t know who first decided that sucking snot out of a seashell was a good idea, but whoever they were they also managed to convince people that said sea-snot guaranteed an erection. There’s absolutely no scientific basis to this claim, but it doesn’t matter. Oysters are now synonymous with sex, despite being quite possibly the grossest food anyone has ever conjured from the ocean’s depths.
And now we can add another reason to not eat oysters to the list—although most people would consider the God-awful taste and texture to be enough—and that’s because oysters can be vectors for flesh eating diseases!
Just ask the family of a 71-year-old man who died from an infection of flesh eating bacteria that he contracted from eating infected oysters at a seafood restaurant. Officials claim that infections are relatively rare, and that they are more common in the summer because the bacteria thrive in warm water.
However, the bacteria can still live year-round in the right conditions, so it is not recommended that people eat raw shellfish. They also recommend that you wrap any open wounds before entering warm brackish sea water.
The disease typically causes abdominal pain, diarrhoea, and stomach ulcers if contracted through food. But it can also break down skin and flesh if the bacteria manages to infect an open wound in the skin.
For most people the disease can be overcome with the immune system alone, but for those with weakened immune systems like the elderly, or those who are just unlucky enough to get a particularly nasty strain, the disease can be fatal. And if the bacteria makes it into your blood stream then things can get really bad, with the fatality rate jumping to 50%.
Flesh-eating bacteria that killed man in days will be more common from both climate change… and raw oyster trend. https://t.co/5XPx3lzZYc— Adam K Olson (@adamkolson) October 26, 2016
“Infections are rare but exposures occur more commonly during the summer months from May to October, when the water is warmer,” officials said. “So far this year, there have been a total of 16 cases of Vibrio vulnificus statewide with three confirmed deaths.”
This just confirms what I’ve always thought to be true.
Don’t suck snot out of things you find in the sea. Just… just put it back and go eat a chicken instead. Not only is it nicer, but you won’t contract a disease that literally eats you from the inside-out.