Woman Dies Within A Month From Flesh Eating Bacteria After Eating Raw Oysters

Raw oysters are considered a delicacy by many however; it actually goes against the advisories on health that does not advocate eating raw anything raw especially fish and meat. Why would someone subject themselves to a fatal health risk just to experience an exotic or unusual way of consuming food? Jeanette Le Blanc was unfortunate enough to find out the most fatal way possible when the Texas woman ate raw oysters bought on the east coast. Within days she was dead!!

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1She contracted a dangerous disease

Texas residents Vicki Bergquist and wife Jeanette Le Blanc went crabbing with friends when visiting family in Louisiana. After crabbing, they stopped off at a market in Westwego and purchased raw oysters. Rather than eat them any other way Leblanc decided to eat them raw consuming in less than two dozen oysters. LeBlanc did exactly what dozens of health portals including the CDC advises against as you will find out why. Within days she contracted a dangerous disease.

Vicki Bergquist

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2LeBlanc contracted Vibrio infection from dangerous bacteria found in oysters

Within 36 hours LeBlanc started experiencing the respiratory problem with rashes on her leg and body. Karen Bowers a friend said it was a horrible allergic reaction which is what everyone thought. No one even realized how fatal it was to become.

Vibrio infection

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3Her condition worsened in 48 hours

When Jeanette consulted a doctor, she was immediately diagnosed with Vibrio, a deadly form of bacterial infection. Vibrio is a deadly flesh-eating bacteria. According to the CDC (center for disease control and prevention), a victim can get infected with Vibrio after eating raw or even undercooked shellfish and by exposing any wound to brackish water.

Jeanette consulted a doctor

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4Her rashes developed into wounds

Leblanc’s rashes sound turned to open wounds that would not heal. It took her 21 days of painful suffering trying to fight against the infection. Said Bowers “I can’t even imagine going through that for 21 days, much less a day. Most people don’t last.”

rashes developed into wounds

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5She fought for her life but to no avail

LeBlanc could not recover for the infection and died on October 15th 2017. Berquist commented saying that had they known about such risks, they would not have eaten the oysters. This is exactly the main problem where it takes such tragic incidents to attract people’s attention to such fatal risks.

LeBlanc could not recover for the infection

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6Several government bodies issue health warnings against raw oysters and clams

The fact that there are health guidelines issued by public bodies like the CDC, FDA and food safety don’t really make much impact simply because people aren’t accustomed to visiting government sites for what many may constitute as boring content. But!! Such information can well save your life.

warnings against raw oysters

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7 Her partner and friends are now raising awareness against consumption of raw seafood

Bergquist said “She was bigger than life,” Bergquist said. “She was a great person, laughed a lot, loved her family, and loved her dad.”

awareness against consumption of raw seafood

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8Fatal flesh-eating wounds that can be cured only through amputation

Vibrio is a potentially fatal disease and it takes a person in incredible health and heightened immunity to have some chance against it. It can create open wounds to the point of eating up an arm or leg.

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Fatal flesh-eating wounds

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9How is Vibrio present in oysters?

There is much information one can find in the CDC website about the association between vibrio and oysters. Vibrio bacteria occur naturally in coastal waters where oysters are found. It can also occur in concentrated form in oyster because of the filter function of an oyster which draws in water. This makes other materials like bacteria remain back in the oyster’s body. When eating raw oysters that contain bacteria, one can get infected with Vibriosis.

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Vibriosis causes about 80,000 infections and 100 deaths in the USA each year. With most attacks occurring in between May and October when temperatures are higher.

Vibrio present in oysters

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10Symptoms of vibriosis?

A typical Vibrio infection acquired from raw oysters will cause diarrhea, abdominal cramps, fever, chills and vomiting as the first symptoms of the disease. Thereafter victims of Vibrio vulnificus as the infection is called will get really sick as the bacteria enter the bloodstream. Severe blistering lesions will be formed on the skin that can actually eat away flesh resulting in amputation.

However one needs to understand that severe Vibrio infections are also rare and usually attacks people with weakened immunity. The risk of skin infection is higher when the patient has an open wound or if an open wound is exposed to brackish water.

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Symptoms of vibriosis

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11Where is Vibrio Vulnificus Found?

Vibrio Vulnificus is not a result of environmental pollution and is usually found is waters that have been approved for clam or oyster harvesting. It will also not change the appearance or taste of the clams and oysters. Osiers and clams are usually found in warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico and in warm weather.

Vibrio Vulnificus Found

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12How to avoid Vibriosis

You can’t kill the bacteria by consuming raw oysters with hot sauce or alcohol. When dining out always avoid uncooked or raw oysters and clams. Always eat thoroughly cooked seafood especially shellfish because cooking destroys the bacteria. Severe infection is rare and usually attacks people with weakened immunity and those whose wounds become infected. Avoid wading in brackish water. Saltwater or sea water when you have a sore or open wound.

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Wash hands after handling raw seafood and always cover any wound or simply avoid handling seafood when you have an open wound.

How to avoid Vibriosis

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13Those who are at greater risk of vibriosis infection

These with the following diseases are at greater risk of vibriosis

• Diabetes
• Liver infection
• Alcoholism
• HIV infection
• Inflammatory bowel disease
• Gastric disease
• Hemochromatosis/hemosiderosis (abnormal iron metabolism)
• Cancer (including lymphoma, leukemia, Hodgkin’s disease)
• Weakened or compromised immunity
• Steroid dependency used in conditions like a chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, emphysema, etc.

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14Tips for Cooking Oysters and Clams

When cooking oysters and clams in the shell, boil them first for 3 to 5 minutes after shells open. Small pots can be used for steaming oysters. Avoid cooking too many oysters in one pot as the middle area may be half cooked. DISCARD ANY OYSTER THAT DOES NOT OPEN WHEN COOKING.

Shucked Oysters and Clams
• Boil for up to 3 m minutes till edges curl
• Fry ion oil for 4 minutes at 375° F.
• Broil 3 inches from heat for 3 minutes
• Bake for 10 minutes at 450°F.

Tips for Cooking Oysters and Clams

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15Be safe than sorry

Jean LeBanc was a woman who ate raw oysters because she was unaware f the problem. Now you know about it and rather than make the same mistakes that LeBlanc did, it isn’t really worth trying to eat raw oysters regardless of how tasty r exotic that sounds. Even though the fatal stages of vibriosis are considered rare, nothing is worth risking your life over. If you like oysters and shellfish, then simply cook and eat them.

Be safe than sorry

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