Woman dies from flesh-eating bacteria after eating raw oysters

Jeanette LeBlanc 55, died on October 15- 21 days after contracting a flesh-eating bacteria on a trip to Louisiana

Jeanette LeBlanc 55, died on October 15- 21 days after contracting a flesh-eating bacteria on a trip to Louisiana

A Texas woman developed a fatal infection with flesh-eating bacteria after eating raw oysters, according to news reports. People can get vibrosis from either eating raw or undercooked seafood or by seawater touching a wound.

The story itself turned out to be true.

According to KLFY, Jeannette LeBlanc went crabbing with her friends and family in Louisiana in September. "(She) had a rash on her legs and everything".

LeBlanc fought the illness for 21 days before she died on October 15, 2017.

After visiting doctors days later, LeBlanc was told she had vibriosis, a disease caused by the flesh-eating bacteria vibrio.

But can that be a killer?

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

"Our Gulf Coast waters definitely can sustain the growth of this organism", said Dr. Fred Lopez with the Department of Internal Medicine at the LSU School of Medicine.

In a podcast about eating raw oysters, the CDC explained that anyone is susceptible to getting ill from eating raw oysters.

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

"Vibrio bacteria naturally live in certain coastal waters and are present in higher concentrations between May and October when water temperatures are warmer", according to the CDC's description. According to the CDC, there's no way to know if an oyster carries bacteria like Vibrio.

There's only one tried-and-true way to make sure any oyster you want to eat is safe.

Just months earlier, a MS woman died after she and her husband ate contaminated shellfish.

The CDC estimates that vibriosis causes 80,000 illnesses each year in the U.S., most caused by consuming contaminated food. About 52,000 of the illnesses are estimated to be the result of eating contaminated food.

One specific form of Vibrio bacteria, Vibrio vulnificus, is more risky.

While flesh eating bacteria infection is rare, a study via HealthLink BC asserts the disease kills one in four people who contract it.

LeBlanc's condition went from bad to worse in the first 48 hours. "But in this part of the country, we should be attuned to it".

"It's not extremely common", Lopez said.

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