Lafayette, Louisiana: Friends Karen Bowers and Jeanette LeBlanc shucked and ate about two dozen raw oysters.
“About 36 hours later she started having extreme respiratory distress, had a rash on her legs and everything,” Bergquist said.
“An allergic reaction of sorts, that’s what I would call it. That’s what we thought,” Bowers added.
(via KRON4, "Texas woman dies after contracting flesh-eating bacteria from raw oysters")
Jeanette's condition went from bad to worse in the first 48 hours. Doctors diagnosed her with vibrio - a flesh-eating bacteria that causes severe wounds.
“It’s a flesh-eating bacteria. She had severe wounds on her legs from that bacteria,” her partner [wife Vicki Bergquist] said.
According to the CDC, the Centers for Diseas Control and Prevention, people can become infected with vibrio after eating raw or under-cooked shellfish, or by exposing open wounds to brackish water.
Jeanette had eaten raw oysters and also had been exposed to brackish water when on the Lousisiana coast, in September. She fought for 21 days, but unfortunately was not able to recover, and died.
Now both Bergquist and Bowers are raising awareness about vibrio, saying they wish they would have known the risks.
“It 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?” said Bowers.
“It we had known that the risk was so high, I think she would’ve stopped eating oysters,” Bergquist said.
Spread the word. Cook your food. Cook your food well.
Brackish water is water that has more salinity than fresh water, but not as much as seawater.