A scanning electron micrograph image of Vibrio vulnificus bacteria.
Credit: CDC / Janice Haney Carr
A Texas woman developed a deadly infection with meat "eating bacteria after eating raw oysters," according to press reports.
The woman, Jeanette LeBlanc, went fishing with her friends and family on the Louisiana coast in September, according to CBS News. During the trip, LeBlanc and his friend Karen Bowers ate about two dozen raw oysters, Bowers told CBS.
But shortly after, LeBlanc experienced respiratory problems and had a rash on his legs, which looked like an allergic reaction, Bowers said
But LeBlanc's condition continued to get worse, and doctors said he was infected with a type of bacteria "carnivore" called Vibrio
The bacterium Vibrio naturally live in coastal waters and are particularly abundant between May and October, when the water is warmer, according to the Centers for Control and Disease Prevention (CDC).
People can become infected with Vibrio by eating raw or undercooked crustaceans, which include oysters, the CDC said. People can also become infected if they have open wounds on their skin that are exposed to salt or brackish water.
Vibrio bacteria cause approximately 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 3 days, according to the CDC. But in some people, there may be a more serious illness, resulting in bloodstream infections and severe skin lesions with blisters, says the CDC. Approximately 1 in 4 people with these serious infections die from the disease.
LeBlanc was exposed to both raw oysters and brackish water. (It was not reported whether raw oysters or brackish water caused the LeBlanc infection.)
He fought the disease for 21 days, but could not recover. He died on October 15, 2017, CBS said.
Now, the couple of Bowers and LeBlanc, Vicki Bergquist, want to raise awareness about Vibrio infections.
"If we had known that the risk was so high, I think I would" I stopped eating oysters, "said Bergquist.
Original article Live Science .