Woman dies from 'flesh-eating' bacteria after eating raw oysters, reports say

Jeanette LeBlac had been visiting friends and family in Louisiana when she bought shellfish from a market

Tuesday 09 January 2018 17:40
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Low levels of the virus, which causes symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhoea, were found in 52% of the positive samples, according to the data
Low levels of the virus, which causes symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhoea, were found in 52% of the positive samples, according to the data

A woman has died from a “flesh-eating” bacteria after she ate raw oysters, it has been reported.

Jeanette LeBlanc, from Texas, was visiting friends and family in Louisiana when she bought a selection of shellfish from a market.

After sharing two dozen oysters with her friend she started having breathing problems and a rash emerged on her skin.

As her reaction worsened, doctors told Ms LeBlanc she was infected with vibrio, a flesh-eating bacteria, CBS News reported.

Vicki Bergquist, Ms LeBlanc’s wife, said: “About 36 hours later she started having extreme respiratory distress, had a rash on her legs and everything.

“It’s a flesh-eating bacteria. She had severe wounds on her legs from that bacteria.”

Ms Le Blanc fought for her life for 21 days and died on 15 October 2017.

Her wife said they had been unaware of the risks of eating oysters.

“She was bigger than life. She was a great person, laughed a lot, loved her family, loved her dad," she said

“If we had known that the risk was so high, I think she would’ve stopped eating oysters."

People can become infected with vibrio by eating raw or undercooked shellfish.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website specifically warns of the dangers of eating raw oysters.

It says it is impossible to tell that an oyster is bad by looking at it, and that they can contain the pathogen at any time of the year.

"Most vibrio infections from oysters result in only diarrhoea and vomiting," it explains.

"However, some infections, such as those caused by Vibrio vulnificus, can cause more severe illness, including bloodstream infections and severe blistering skin lesions.

"Many people with V. vulnificus infections require intensive care or limb amputations, and 15-30% of infections are fatal."

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