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Texas Woman Passes Away After Ingesting Bacteria From Raw Oysters

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USA Today reports that a Texas woman, Jeanette LeBlanc, has died after contracting a type of flesh-eating bacteria that most likely stemmed from raw oysters she ate on a trip to Louisana where she went crabbing with friends and family. A rash on her legs formed over a day later, and upon visiting the doctor, LeBlanc was diagnosed with vibriosis. LeBlanc also reportedly experienced respiratory distress after eating around two dozen oysters.

Microbiologist Gabrielle Barbarite told the news that Vibrio bacteria does not eat away at the skin with contact. “You have to have a pre-existing cut—or you have to eat raw, contaminated seafood or chug a whole lot of contaminated water—for it to get into your bloodstream,” Barbarite explained.

Live Science writes, “Vibrio bacteria cause about 80,000 illnesses and 100 deaths each year in the United States, according to the CDC. Most people who contract Vibrio from raw oysters experience only diarrhea and vomiting, and those with these milder cases typically recover in about three days…” Unfortunately, LeBlanc contracted a much harsher case that she was unable to fight off. Live Science speculates that she most likely ingested brackish water, too. She died after 21 days of fighting for her life with the illness.