(SARASOTA COUNTY, Fla.) -- One person has died from a rare flesh eating bacteria in Sarasota County, Fla., officials confirmed Wednesday. The disease can be contracted through open wounds on the skin or eating raw or undercooked shellfish. The bacteria thrives in warm, salt water, but Sarasota County Health Department epidemiologist Michael Drennon says the water is still okay to go in.
"Just be diligent if you have an open wound or cut," Drennon said. "Child, adult, you know, older adult, all of those individuals should be aware that there's a risk associated when that condition is present, but otherwise it's safe to go in the water."
According to health officials, 11 cases have been reported throughout the state of Florida in 2014.
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