Published: Tue, January 09, 2018
Medicine | By Earnest Bishop

Woman dies from flesh-eating bacteria after eating raw oysters

Woman dies from flesh-eating bacteria after eating raw oysters

Raw oysters are often a happy hour favorite, but a Texas woman died from what is being reported as a flesh-eating bacteria after enjoying the food while on vacation, according to Louisiana TV stationKLFY.

The story itself turned out to be true.

Jeanette LeBlanc went crabbing with friends and family on the Louisiana coast back in September, picking up a sack of raw oysters in a market in Westwego.

Her wife, Vicki Bergquist was with LeBlanc on the trip and described the oyster's scary effects to the TV station.

LeBlanc died 21 days later, on October 15, according to the report.

But can that be a killer?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says vibriosis occurs after someone eats raw or undercooked seafood.

Getty Images
Getty Images

Most infections happen between May and October and common symptoms include diarrhea, nausea, fever and chills. Doctors diagnosed LeBlanc with vibrio, a flesh-eating bacteria contracted by eating raw or undercooked shellfish or by exposing open wounds to brackish water.

It turns out that anyone can get sick from vibriosis, but it's rare.

How do you know if the oysters you're about to suck down have the bacteria?

A STRAIN of bacteria called Vibrio is found in oysters and other seafood.

We do want to warn you, some of the images may be disturbing. "You need to have high, sustained temperatures to kill the organism". This infection can cause blistering skin lesions, bloodstream infections, and necrotizing fasciitis (flesh-eating disease, which causes soft tissue to die) if a wound gets infected.

The CDC stated that about a dozen of the vibrio species can cause human illness, known as vibriosis. While most cases are mild and patients recover within three days, much more serious forms of the infection can put victims in intensive care or result in limb amputation A quarter of patients with the severe form of the illness die. About one in four people with that type of infection die, according to the CDC.

In a podcast about eating raw oysters, the CDC explained that anyone is susceptible to getting ill from eating raw oysters. "But in this part of the country, we should be attuned to it".

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