Man contracts flesh-eating bacteria while crabbing in NJ, may lose limbs

Henrietta Strickland
July 12, 2018

"It was swelling", she said.

A 60-year-old father is hospitalized in intensive care after his family says he contracted flesh-eating bacteria while crabbing in a New Jersey river.

Perez-Dilan says on July 2 her father was crabbing at his favorite spot near Matt's Landing on the river. "It turned brown, blackish color". "It was swelling, it was blistered".

For Perez, the infection spread quickly - taking just hours for his limbs to swell and become discolored. She told that doctors at Cooper University Hospital are waiting to see if Perez, 60, responds to antibiotics before deciding whether they must amputate any or all of his limbs.

Vibrio bacteria are said to thrive in warm, salty water.

VNF is referred to as a flesh-eating bacteria because the infection results in tissue damage and death. He's able to breathe on his own and communicate with his family, according to the outlet. We think water is safe. "That's why they do use boots - people use boots and covers to protect themselves", said Dilena.

Contracting the disease is rare, and Perez has Parkinson's disease, which puts him at a greater risk for problems. Open cuts and wounds are another way for the bacteria to enter the body. Vibrio usually infects a person who eats raw or undercooked shellfish but can also sicken a person who has an open wound in salt water.

"In the U.S., most serious infections appear to occur with the ingestion of raw oysters along the Gulf Coast, as almost all oysters are reported to harbor V. vulnificus during the summer months and 95% of cases were related to raw oyster ingestion", according to a report published previous year in the medical journal BMJ Case Reports, which chronicled the case of a man who died after swimming in the Gulf of Mexico with a freshly inked tattoo.

As for Perez, his daughter says he and his family are relying on their faith to guide them through the situation. "And then another friend of (Perez) that goes fishing there, he now has a baseball-size swelling of his elbow, and that's where he's been going".

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