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HomeHealth & FitnessSan Jose woman loses limbs after battling bacterial infection from tilapia

San Jose woman loses limbs after battling bacterial infection from tilapia

San Jose woman loses limbs after battling bacterial infection from tilapia

(KRON) — There is a warning about a dangerous bacteria that could have infected a local woman who is still recovering after nearly two months in the hospital. An online fundraising effort says she contracted the bacterial infection after eating fish and now has four amputations.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently issued a warning about a bacterial infection that people can get from eating raw or undercooked fish or exposing an open wound in coastal waters. A friend tells us that this San Jose woman probably contracted this specific infection after eating undercooked tilapia.

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The life of a mother from San José changes forever. Laura Barajas, 40, had her limbs amputated while she was fighting a bacterial infection.

“It has been very heavy for all of us. It’s awful. “This could have happened to any of us,” said Anna Messina, a friend of Barajas.

Messina says that in late July Barajas had bought tilapia at a local market for dinner. She cooked it and ate it alone. A few days later she became seriously ill and was then hospitalized.

“He almost lost his life. She was on a ventilator,” Messina said. “They put her in a medically induced coma. Her toes were black, her feet were black and her lower lip was black. She had complete sepsis and her kidneys were failing.”

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Now, a month and a half later, Barajas finds himself without arms or legs.

Messina believes the infection was caused by Vibrio vulnificus, a bacterial infection that the CDC has been warning about.

“The ways you can get infected with this bacteria are one, you can eat something that is contaminated with it and the other is to expose a cut or a tattoo to the water that this insect lives in,” said Dr. Natasha Spottiswoode, an expert in UCSF Infectious Diseases. .

Spottiswoode says the bacteria is especially concerning for immunocompromised people.

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The CDC says between 150 and 200 cases of infections are reported each year and about one in five people with the infection dies, sometimes within a day or two of getting sick.

“People should take sensible precautions, such as, if you have a cut, avoid submerging yourself in water until it is well healed,” Spottiswoode said. “If you are an immunocompromised person, be aware of these things and avoid those high-risk activities and foods.”

Messina says she and Barajas’ family are still waiting to learn more about what happened. She hopes people realize how precious life can be.

“Be grateful for what we have now because it can be taken away from us very quickly and easily,” Messina said.

Messina has created a GoFundMe to help with her friend’s medical expenses. So far, she has raised more than $20,000.



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