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Woman who ate undercooked tilapia contracts flesh-eating bacteria, has four limbs amputated

By NICK GARCIA Published Sep 19, 2023 12:20 pm

A woman from San Jose in California contracted bacterial infection after eating what appeared to be undercooked tilapia, leading to the amputation of her arms and legs.

According to a report by PEOPLE Magazine, Laura Barajas, 40, purchased tilapia from a local market in July and fell ill almost immediately after consuming it.

Barajas, a mother to a six-year-old boy, contracted the virulent Vibrio vulnificus or the “flesh-eating bacteria."

Her friend Messina set up a GoFundMe page for her medical expenses.

“She almost lost her life. She was on a respirator,” Messina told local station KRON-4. “They put her into a medically induced coma. Her fingers were black, her feet were black, her bottom lip was black. She had complete sepsis and her kidneys were failing.”

Barajas spent a month in the hospital before all of her four limbs had to be removed "in order to save her life."

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Vibro vulnificus infection comes from eating raw or undercooked seafood, as well as one's wound coming into contact with raw or undercooked seafood, or its drippings with salt water.

It can lead to necrotizing facilities, a "severe infection in which the flesh around an open wound dies.”

Primary treatment, according to the CDC, "is early and aggressive surgical exploration and debridement of necrotic tissue."