Louisiana Health Officials Begin Investigating Death of Former N.D. Lawmaker

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The Louisiana Department of Health says it has begun a “formal investigation” of the death of Rae Ann Kelsch, the former North Dakota lawmaker who died Tuesday following an illness believed to be related to the consumption of raw oysters in New Orleans.

Kelly Zimmerman, the Press Secretary for the Louisiana Department of Health, gave KX News the following statement:

“The Department of Health was made aware of this unfortunate situation. We have reached out to the family of Ms. Kelsch and we have begun our formal investigation. Investigations such as these are confidential but we will alert the media and the public if necessary for public safety and awareness.”

The decision to investigate comes after Kelsch died of an aggressive bacterial infection Tuesday morning.

According to family posts on the website CaringBridge.org, Kelsch was visiting family in New Orleans, and became ill Friday after consuming raw oysters at a restaurant.

She was admitted to the Oschner Medical Center in New Orleans on Sunday. There it was determined that her illness was linked to the oysters.

Kelsch served Mandan in the North Dakota House of Representatives from 1990 until she was defeated in a re-election bid in 2012.

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