Warning as mum, 40, loses all four limbs after eating under-cooked fish for dinner | The Sun

LAURA Barajas couldn't have foreseen that the simple act of cooking herself dinner would send her life on an "unexpected and devastating turn".

The 40-year-old mum-of-one bought tilapia fish from her local market in San Jose, California, last month.

She cooked it for herself and ate it for dinner at the end of a long day.

"Little did she know that this simple act would change her life forever," her friend Anna Messina wrote in a GoFundMe shared on her behalf.

By the following day, Laura knew something was "terribly wrong".

She then spent over a month fighting for her life in hospital where she was diagnosed with a dangerous bacterial infection called Vibrio vulnificus, which medics believe was brought on by consuming the fish.

Read more on Vibrio vulnificus

Urgent warning after 5 killed by ‘flesh-eating bacteria’ lurking in sea water

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) this month warned that five people had died from the 'flesh-eating' bug after coming into contact with contaminated water in the east coast of America.

The deadly bacteria species lives in coastal waters and can infect people if they eat raw or under-cooked seafood, or expose an open wound or scratch to contaminated water.

According to the CDC, "above-average coastal sea surface temperatures" seen this summer have led the species to thrive in the East Coast and Gulf of Mexico.

Anna told News19 that Laura had almost lost her life battling the terrible infection and she was placed in a medically induced coma.

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"Her fingers were black, her feet were black, her bottom lip was black," the mum's friend said.

"She had complete sepsis and her kidneys were failing."

Laura lost all of her limbs to the infection as she underwent quadruple amputation to save her life, Anna said.

"It's just been really heavy on all of us. It's terrible. This could've happened to any of us," she added.

Anna launched a GoFundMe to help support Laura, her partner and son, who have been rocked these devastating developments.

"This family is in desperate need of our help," she wrote.

"The mounting hospital bills are overwhelming, and Laura's physical condition will necessitate significant changes to their lives as they adapt to her new circumstances."

She emphasised that what happened to Laura could happen to anyone.

According to the CDC, Vibrio vulnificus is "known to cause life-threatening infections".

"About 150 to 200 Vibrio vulnificus infections are reported to CDC each year and about one in five people with this infection die – sometimes within one to two days of becoming ill," it says.

According to the health body, early symptoms include:


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  • Watery diarrhoea
  • Stomach cramps
  • Nausea
  • Fever and chills
  • Blistering skin, which may present as black dots
  • Low blood pressure
  • Pain, swelling, or warmth around an infected wound

The infection is usually treated with antibiotics, but amputation is sometimes necessary to remove dead or infected tissue.

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