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Updated: 07/31/2014 10:10:28AM

Beach bacteria claims life

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A middle-aged patient died in Sarasota County after contracting an ocean-borne bacterial infection through an open wound, according to the Florida Department of Health.

The bacteria, Vibrio vulnificus, is present in coastal waters — especially during the summer when water temperatures are warmer — and in filter-feeding shellfish like oysters, mussels, clams and scallops. It can be contracted through an open cut when someone is swimming in the ocean, or by eating raw shellfish.

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