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A south florida manwho died after eating raw oysters and was infected with a flesh-eating disease, had various drugs in his system at the time of his death, including cocaine and fentanyl, according to a report.
Roger Pinckney, a 44-year-old man from Davie, died July 31 after a fever and abdominal pain hospitalized him for eight days after a meal he ate at the Rustic Inn Crabhouse in Fort Lauderdale, NBC 6 reports, citing the findings of the Broward Departmental Medical Examiner.
“In 60 years, we have served a a few billion oystersand we’ve never had anyone get sick like this guy,” Gary Oreal, manager of the Rustic Inn Crabhouse, told the South Florida SunSentinel, noting that Pinckney worked at the restaurant years ago.
Florida Department of Health inspectors examined the restaurant’s kitchen and its inventory of oysters the day after the man fell ill, Oreal told the newspaper.
“We passed with flying colors and were allowed to continue selling oysters,” he said, adding that the oysters currently being served are from Louisiana. “If there was a problem with the oyster farm, we would know because others would have gotten sick.”
The medical examiner’s report says Pinckney tested positive for cannabis, cocaine, fentanyl, oxycodone and opiates after his death. Pinckney also tested positive for Vibrio vulnificus, a bacteria found in warm seawater, according to NBC 6.
While in hospital, Pinckney began to suffer from necrotizing fasciitis – a flesh-eating disease – “due to the bacteria”, the medical examiner would have said. Just before his death, Pinckney suffered multiple organ failure and was placed on continuous dialysis, NBC 6 also reported, citing the health findings.
“It still doesn’t feel completely real,” her daughter, Jaelyn Pinckney, told the South Florida SunSentinel. “I don’t know how an oyster could cause all this.”
Jaelyn Pinckney described her father as “the life of every party” and said there was “never a dull moment around him”.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention state that the Vibrio bacteria does not make an oyster look, smell or taste different. The agency said about 80,000 people contract vibriosis in the United States each year and about 100 people die from it.
The Florida Department of Health says 26 people have been infected with the bacteria so far this year, six of whom later died; in 2021, 34 people were infected, 10 of whom died; and in 2020 there were seven deaths among the 36 who fell ill.
Last week, a Pensacola man died after contracting the bacteria from oysters he purchased at a market, the Pensacola News Journal reported. Those oysters also came from Louisiana, officials said.
Infections related to the bacteria are common in oysters and raw seafood during the summer months when water temperatures are warmer, Professor Robert Farr of the University of West Florida told the paper.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.