Woman dies after contracting flesh-eating bacteria from oysters

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But she never recovered and passed away in October.

The woman, identified as Jeanette LeBlanc, together with her friend Karen Bowers, ate about two dozen fresh oysters contaminated with flesh-eating bacteria near the coast of Louisiana on September 2017.

In this Tuesday Dec. 2, 2014 photo, Texas Parks and Wildlife Game Warden Travis Fountain checks a sack of oysters aboard an oyster boat to make sure they are legal, in East Galveston Bay, Texas.

Texas residents Vicki Bergquist and wife Jeanette LeBlanc were in Louisiana for a visit, reportsKLFY. But in some people, more serious illness can occur, resulting in bloodstream infections and severe blistering skin lesions, the CDC says. Doctors told LeBlanc she had vibrosis, a flesh-eating bacteria from the brackish water that got into her system through an open wound.

LeBlanc was unable to recover from the infection and died on October 15, 2017.

"An allergic reaction of sorts, that's what I would call it. She had severe wounds on her legs from that bacteria", her partner said.

Bergquist now plans to raise awareness about vibrio.

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"If they really knew what could happen to them and they could literally die within 48, 36 hours of eating raw oysters, is it really worth it?" she said.

Those who ingest a certain strain of the bacteria, known as vibrio vulnificus, can get seriously ill and might need intensive care or limb amputation.

CDC provided some tips to reduce the risk of vibriosis.

In addition, the bacteria tends to multiply in warm waters, so the shellfish from the Gulf of Mexico and other warm waters tend to contain a large amount of the bacteria. Cook them before eating.

Another recommendation is to always wash hands with soap and water after handling raw shellfish and avoid contaminating cooked shellfish with raw shellfish and its juices.

Stay out of brackish or salt water if you have a wound (including cuts and scrapes), or cover your wound with a waterproof bandage if there's a possibility it could come into contact with brackish or salt water, raw seafood, or raw seafood juices.

Vibriosis causes about 100 deaths in the United States each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. During that time there were at least 72 infections, mostly caused by eating raw oysters, and 36 deaths.

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