California woman loses limbs after battling bacterial infection from tilapia
California Woman Faces Life-Altering Battle After Contracting Bacterial Infection Possibly Linked to Tilapia Consumption
A Californian woman’s harrowing journey continues as she fights to recover from a dangerous bacterial infection that has left her a quadruple amputee after spending nearly two months in the hospital.
An online fundraising campaign has been launched to support her medical expenses, shedding light on the potential source of her infection – the consumption of undercooked fish.
Recently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a stern warning regarding a bacterial infection that can result from consuming raw or insufficiently cooked fish, as well as from exposing open wounds to coastal waters.
Laura Barajas, aged 40, tragically had to undergo limb amputations while bravely battling this severe bacterial infection. A close friend, Anna Messina, shared the heartbreaking journey, speculating that the infection may have been contracted after Barajas consumed undercooked tilapia.
“This has weighed heavily on all of us. It’s devastating. This could have happened to any of us,” Messina emotionally expressed.
According to Messina, in late July, Barajas purchased tilapia from a local market for a solo dinner. After consuming the fish, she fell seriously ill within days and had to be hospitalized.
“She was on the brink of losing her life. She had to be put on a respirator,” Messina revealed. “They induced a medically induced coma. Her fingers and feet turned black, and her lower lip displayed alarming discoloration. She suffered from severe sepsis, with her kidneys in peril.”
Now, six weeks later, Barajas faces the daunting challenge of adapting to life without her arms and legs.
Messina suspects that the bacterial culprit behind this ordeal may be Vibrio vulnificus, a dangerous bacterium that the CDC has been cautioning the public about.
Dr. Natasha Spottiswoode, an Infectious Disease Expert from UCSF, explained, “Infection with this bacterium can occur through consumption of contaminated food or through contact with water inhabited by this microorganism, especially if you have cuts or open wounds.”
The bacterium is particularly perilous for individuals with compromised immune systems.
The CDC reports an annual occurrence of approximately 150-200 cases of this infection, with a staggering one in five patients succumbing to it, sometimes within a mere one to two days of falling ill.
Dr. Spottiswoode urged sensible precautions, advising individuals with cuts or injuries to avoid immersion in water until fully healed. For immunocompromised individuals, she emphasized vigilance and avoidance of high-risk activities and foods.
As Barajas and her family await further insights into her medical situation, Messina hopes this heart-wrenching experience serves as a poignant reminder of life’s fragility.
“Let’s cherish what we have at this moment because it can be swiftly and easily taken away,” Messina poignantly urged.
In a compassionate gesture, Messina initiated a GoFundMe campaign to alleviate her friend’s mounting medical expenses. To date, the campaign has rallied over $20,000 in support.