In some cases, it can cause watery diarrhoea, often accompanied by abdominal cramping, nausea, vomiting, fever and chills, according to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention.
Lopez says it's important to know that cases like Leblanc's are rare.
Jeanette LeBlanc went crabbing with friends and family on the Louisiana coast back in September, picking up a sack of raw oysters in a market in Westwego.
"About 36 hours later she started having extreme respiratory distress, had a rash on her legs and everything", Bergquist said.
"An allergic reaction of sorts, that's what I would call it, and that's what we thought", said Bowers.More news: USA blocks $255 million military aid to Pakistan
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The sooner treatment begins, the more likely the patient will recover from the infection and avoid serious complications, such as limb amputation'. The woman's condition got worse in the first 48 hours after eating the raw oysters.
But it wasn't long after when her health rapidly changed.
"It's a flesh-eating bacteria", Bergquist explained. Bergquist told the network that LeBlanc by that time had sustained severe wounds on her legs from the bacteria.
Earlier that day, Leblanc had also waded through brackish water.
Told Bowers, 'I can't even imagine going through that for 21 days, much less a day.
"The words flesh-eating might make you think that if you touch it, it will degrade your skin on contact, and that's not true", she said. "You have to have a pre-existing cut-or you have to eat raw, contaminated seafood or chug a whole lot of contaminated water-for it to get into your bloodstream; it can't break down healthy, intact skin".
"Vibrio bacteria naturally live in certain coastal waters and are present in higher concentrations between May and October when water temperatures are warmer", according to the CDC's description. An infected oyster is also indistinguishable by smell or taste. They grabbed about two dozen raw oysters. In addition, the bacteria tends to multiply in warm waters, so the shellfish from the Gulf of Mexico and other warm waters tend to contain a large amount of the bacteria.