Family speaks out after woman dies from flesh-eating bacteria after consuming raw oysters

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Tuesday, January 9, 2018
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Woman dies after contracting flesh-eating bacteria from eating oysters

MEREDITH, Texas -- While lots of people enjoy raw oysters, few think about the health risks, which is why one widow is speaking out.

Texas native Jeanette LeBlanc and her wife were visiting family in Louisiana in September when she grabbed about two-dozen raw oysters at a nearby market, shucked them, and then ate them, WGHP reports.

Everyone thought she had an allergic reaction to the food, but her condition worsened within 48 hours.

Doctors told LeBlanc she had vibriosis, a flesh-eating bacteria from the brackish water that got into her system through an open wound.

For 21 days, LeBlanc fought for her life, but she never recovered and passed away in October.

Now months later, her wife and friends are hoping their story can save a life.

"If they really knew what could happen to them and they could die - literally die within 48, 36 hours of just eating raw oysters, is it really worth it?" asked Vicki Bergquist, LeBlanc's wife. "If we had known that the risk was so high, I think we would've or she would have stopped eating oysters."

According to the CDC, 80,000 people get sick, and 100 people die from vibriosis every year.

They also state most people who become infected with vibriosis do so by eating raw or undercooked shellfish, particularly oysters. It is also possible to contract vibriosis by exposing an open wound to brackish or salt water.

Most infections happen from May through October when temperatures are warmer.