Information – The health hazards of eating raw oysters

KLFY

Vibrio Vulnificas.

It’s a flesh-eating bacteria found in raw seafood and even in brackish water.

Only 50% of those infected survive.

News Ten wanted to know just how big the risk is for Acadiana residents and what precautions people can take.

Do we know just how safe the coastal waters really are?

Texas resident Jeanette LeBlanc died last year after eating raw oysters in Louisiana.

Her wife Vicki Bergquist says her symptoms showed up quickly.

“About 36 hours later she started having extreme respiratory distress, had a rash on her legs and everything,” Bregquist recalls.

“I’ve taken care of several cases. Probably seven or eight in the last two years. Some, two or three, are frankly septicemic and the remainder had localized tissue infections and were treated and did well,” explains Dr. Nicolas Sells, director of infectious diseases of University Hospital and Clinics in Lafayette.

Nationwide, Vibrio infects 80 thousand people a year, causing 100 deaths.

It’s found anywhere along the U.S. coast, although the majority of cases tend to be around the Gulf Coast.

The Vibrio bacteria attacks the body in two ways: a skin infection that can spread to the rest of the body or septicemia, a bloodstream infection that produces blistering skin lesions.

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