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Two Connecticut deaths linked to bacteria found in raw shellfish

J.D. Allen

A second Connecticut resident has died this summer from a flesh-eating bacteria, known as Vibrio. Cases are very rare, but can be caused by consuming raw shellfish or exposure to brackish water.

The state Department of Public Health confirmed this week that the second death occurred in July. Both patients were over 60, and had been swimming with open cuts or wounds in Long Island Sound.

Officials maintain that state beaches are safe, and regularly test for bacteria like Vibrio and E.coli.

A third case was also confirmed in which the patient ate raw oysters that came from out of state.

The state Bureau of Aquaculture also assures residents that shellfish harvested in Long Island Sound are safe to eat.

The Milford Oyster Festival has been given the green light from the state for this weekend. An estimated 30,000 locally harvested oysters will be shucked for public consumption.

Vibrio was also identified in a recently deceased Suffolk County resident. That case is being investigated to see if it came from New York waters.

Sabrina is host and producer of WSHU’s daily podcast After All Things. She also produces the climate podcast Higher Ground and other long-form news and music programs at the station. Sabrina spent two years as a WSHU fellow, working as a reporter and assisting with production of The Full Story.