Woman Dies After Eating Raw Oysters and Contracting Flesh-Eating Bacteria

A 55-year-old woman visiting friends and family in Louisiana died after contracting a flesh-eating bacteria.

Jeanette LeBlanc became ill after going crabbing with friends and family on the Louisiana coast and then eating raw oysters that she and a friend picked up at a market in Westwego, KLFY reports.

"About 36 hours later she started having extreme respiratory distress, had a rash on her legs and everything," said Vicki Berquist, LeBlanc's wife.

Their friend, Karen Bowers, described the illness as an allergic reaction, claiming that that's what they believed it was until LeBlanc's health continued to deteriorate. Doctors diagnosed LeBlanc with vibrio, a flesh-eating bacteria contracted by eating raw or undercooked shellfish or by exposing open wounds to brackish water.

The flesh-eating bacteria caused severe wounds on LeBlanc's legs, and after fighting for her life for 21 days, she passed away on Oct. 15.

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Now, LeBlanc's wife and Bowers are raising awareness about vibrio in honor of LeBlanc, stating that if they had known the risks, they would have been more cautious with consuming raw oysters.