Woman Loses Limbs After Eating Bad Tilapia

SAN JOSE, Calif. – A 40-year-old mother from California, Laura Barajas, has undergone a quadruple amputation after consuming contaminated tilapia, according to her close friends. The fish, believed to be tainted with a lethal bacteria, led to a prolonged hospital stay and a life-saving surgery for Barajas.

The incident has sent shockwaves through the community, highlighting the potential dangers of foodborne illnesses. Barajas’ case underscores the importance of proper food handling and preparation, particularly with seafood, which can harbor harmful bacteria if not adequately cooked or stored.

Barajas fell ill shortly after consuming the tilapia she had bought from a local market in San Jose. Her condition rapidly deteriorated, leading to sepsis and kidney failure, necessitating her placement on a respirator and a medically induced coma. Her friend, Anna Messina, described the harrowing ordeal, noting that Barajas’ fingers, feet, and lower lip had turned black due to the infection.

According to Messina, Barajas was infected with Vibrio vulnificus, a potentially fatal bacteria commonly found in raw seafood and seawater. Dr. Natasha Spottiswoode, an Infectious Disease Expert at UCSF, explained that the bacteria could be contracted through the consumption of contaminated food or exposure of cuts or tattoos to infected water. This infection is particularly dangerous for individuals with compromised immune systems.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports approximately 150-200 cases of Vibrio vulnificus annually, with a mortality rate of about 20%. As Barajas’ family grapples with the aftermath of her ordeal, they are also seeking answers about the incident and how to navigate their future.

To help with the mounting medical costs and Barajas’ transition to her new life, Messina has initiated a GoFundMe campaign.