The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stated eating raw oysters "can increase the chance you will get sick with vibriosis".
This is a very rare condition, but it can be deadly.
LeBlanc died on October 15 after 21 days.
According to the station's report, LeBlanc's family and friends initially thought she had an allergic reaction. She had severe wounds on her legs from that bacteria, ' LeBlanc's partner Vicki Bergquist said.
There are approximately a dozen different types of Vibrio bacteria that can cause various forms of vibriosis.
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There are approximately 80,000 vibriosis infections in the U.S. every year, according to the CDC.
The prevalence of the bacteria is increasing due to warmer ocean temperatures as a result of climate change. Severe cases-like LeBlanc's-can be fatal.
Typical symptoms of vibriosis include diarrhea, nausea, fever, and chills.
One specific form of Vibrio bacteria, Vibrio vulnificus, is more unsafe. It is also possible to contract vibriosis by exposing an open wound to brackish or salt water. But it's very rare: CDC estimates are that there are about 205 cases in the U.S. every year.
While media reports are calling this a flesh-eating bacteria, it's important to note that this is not one of the bacterial groups listed by the CDC as causing necrotizing fasciitis, the skin infection that destroys the body's soft tissue. She was hospitalized for three weeks after doctors diagnosed her with vibrio. Still, it's unclear how she was infected.
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As such, this is also the primary suspect when trying to pinpoint the source of the United States case. In December, the North Bay Health Unit said two cases had been reported in its area.
"If 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.
One study conducted by the Florida state health office found the infection was the leading cause of death from foodborne illness between 1981 and 1992.
According to the CDC, it is impossible to tell if an oyster is infected with vibrio bacteria simply by looking at it.
In a podcast about eating raw oysters, the CDC explained that anyone is susceptible to getting ill from eating raw oysters.
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