SAN JOSE, Calif. - Public health officials are uncertain what forced a San Jose mother to undergo a quadruple amputation but they have ruled out a disease linked to seafood that had initially been blamed for her condition.
The Santa Clara County Public Health Department said it has no record of a patient with Vibrio, despite claims in a GoFundMe fundraiser that 40-year-old Laura Barajas contracted the bacterial infection after eating fish she bought at a local supermarket and cooked at home.
"Preliminary information has now been received regarding this individual, confirming that no laboratory tests are positive for Vibrio," said county health officials in a statement.
Healthcare providers and laboratories are mandated to report any new Vibrio cases to the public health department in the county where the patient lives.
"Several different diseases including but not limited to Vibrio can cause tragic clinical outcomes like this one," the department said in a statement. "Public Health is actively investigating to confirm if a cause of this illness can be identified," adding that they did not think there is a risk to the public.
Family friend Anna Messina created a GoFundMe page late last week, detailing what happened to Barajas.
The post said Barajas bought fish from a grocery store in San Jose and cooked it herself. The next day she was admitted to a local hospital and diagnosed with Vibrio Vulnificus, a bacterial infection, according to the post.
The Center for Disease Control said about 200 people a year get a Vibrio infection, experiencing diarrhea, stomach cramping, vomiting, chills and fever. The bacteria mainly live in salt waters on the East Coast and can be contracted through an open flesh wound or swallowing salt water. It can also be contracted by eating raw or undercooked seafood.