Woman gets flesh-eating bacteria while fishing in Gulf of Mexico

A woman who was fishing in the Gulf of Mexico was diagnosed with flesh-eating bacteria after something bit her foot.

Kelly Blomberg said it felt like her foot went into the mouth of some animal, then the water was filled with blood.

She went to the hospital and started to take antibiotics the next day.

A week later, her foot was enlarged and swollen, with dead tissue everywhere.

"It is affecting my life. I can't work right now. I can't do anything productive right now," Blomberg told WDSU.

What started as a couple of small scratches on May 12 turned into vibrio vulnificus, flesh-eating bacteria, while Blomberg was fishing in the Gulf of Mexico.

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The disease can spread within six hours, Dr. Obinna Nnedu, Blomberg's infectious disease doctor at Ochsner Medical Center, told WDSU. Symptoms include redness, swelling and a high fever. People with weak immune systems can suffer more serious issues.

"If you have an open wound and you go into the salt water off the coast of Louisiana in the Gulf, you can be exposed to this bacteria. The other way is by eating raw oysters," Nnedu told WDSU.

Blomberg is on the mend. She has undergone surgery to remove dead tissue and get a skin graft, according to WDSU.

"The swelling has gone down," Blomberg told WDSU. "So now the wound can actually start to heal."