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What Are the Dangers of Eating Raw Oysters?

Updated April 17, 2017

Regardless of what part of the country you live in, raw oysters can most likely be found at a seafood restaurant. Raw oysters considered a delicacy in the southern U.S. and many other countries. However, there are certain dangers associated with eating these uncooked oysters.

Bacteria

Vibrio vulnificus septicaemia is a blood infection that comes as a result of ingesting raw oysters that contain certain bacteria. Some people have built immunity to the bacteria and will not get sick. However, many others have no such immunity and will suffer as a result.

Effects

Side effects of the blood sickness can range from symptoms as mild as an upset stomach to fatality, depending on the amount ingested and the body's ability to fight off the bacteria.

Contamination

People suffering from Vibrio vulnificus septicaemia are contagious for up to seven days after contracting the sickness, since it stays in their stool.

Statistics

According to the FDA, about 50-60 people in the U.S. are infected with the blood illness annually. Of these, approximately half of them die.

Precautions

There is a certain process that can drastically reduce the likeliness of getting sick from eating raw oysters. Oysters can be "post-harvested," which will effectively eliminate the bacteria.

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About the Author

Adam Tavangaran, a marketing student at Southern Illinois University, has extensive experience researching topics including market research and financial data. He has written numerous search engine optimization articles for travel sites. Tavangaran began freelance writing in 2007.