How eating Tilapia fish cost a US woman all her limbs

DailyBiteSep 18, 2023 | 13:58

How eating Tilapia fish cost a US woman all her limbs

Representative Image. (Getty)

If you enjoy eating fish, here's a warning for you: consuming contaminated fish can have life-altering consequences. A woman in the US lost all four of her limbs after she chose to eat contaminated Tilapia fish.

The woman, identified as 40-year-old Laura Barajas from California, contracted a life-threatening condition known as a perilous bacterial infection after consuming contaminated tilapia. This led to the amputation of all four of her limbs.


What happened?

Laura had purchased the fish from a local market in San Jose and cooked it for herself. However, she fell ill immediately after consumption and had to be hospitalized.

"They placed her in a medical coma. Her fingers, feet, and even her bottom lip turned black. She developed complete sepsis, and her kidneys were failing," her friend Anna Mesina revealed to KRON.

Anna Mesina added, "She came very close to losing her life and had to be put on a ventilator."

Mesina explained that Barajas was infected with Vibrio Vulnificus, a potentially deadly bacterium commonly found in raw seafood and water.

What is this bacterium?

Dr Natasha Spottiswoode, an Infectious Disease Expert from UCSF, highlighted that this infection is particularly concerning for individuals with weakened immune systems.

"There are two ways to contract this bacterium: by consuming contaminated food or by exposing a cut or tattoo to water where this bug resides," explained Dr Natasha Spottiswoode from UCSF.

According to the CDC, there are approximately 150 to 200 cases of Vibrio Vulnificus reported each year, with roughly one in five infected individuals succumbing to the illness.

Mesina, a friend of Barajas, mentioned that the family is still trying to understand the exact sequence of events leading to her condition.


Mesina has also launched a GoFundMe campaign to support Barajas with her medical expenses and help her adjust to her new life. To date, more than $39,000 has been raised to cover Barajas's medical costs.

Last updated: September 18, 2023 | 13:58
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