A Flesh-Eating Bacteria On the Beach of Ocean City Infected a Boy

Henrietta Strickland
July 5, 2019

Carey wrote on Facebook that her son developed the red gashes "throughout his body" after he went for swimming in the coast of Ocean City last week.

"My BIGGEST reason for sharing this story is to shed some light on how I was infected", King wrote.

After a young boy was infected with Vibrio, a type of flesh-eating bacteria recently near Ocean City, health officials say this case is rare and local waterways are still safe to swim in.

Carey said she shared the Facebook post as a warning for other parents.

"And make sure that if you develop any symptoms of sudden onset of fevers, chills, redness in an arm or a leg, or pain which continues to get worse, immediately seek medical care", she said.

Entering water with an open wound is the most common way to contract flesh-eating bacteria.

Strains of the bacteria have occasionally ailed Marylanders.

Most vibriosis infections occur during summer and fall when surface waters are relatively warm.

Recent reported cases of flesh-eating bacteria infections from the Gulf of Mexico may have some people wary to spend the holiday weekend by the water.

But as water temperatures rise, beaches along the Northeast Coast may become comfortable homes for the bacteria Vibrio vulnificus - and more more unsafe ones for humans.

Dr. Vega said people with weakened immune systems, including senior citizens and people with liver disease are most at-risk.

Where is the flesh-eating bacteria found?

Vibrio bacteria naturally live in certain coastal waters and are present in higher concentrations between May and October, when water temperatures are warmer, according to the agency. Her son contracted the bacteria from a beach in Ocean City (file image). But experts have found it has migrated farther north, to Delaware Bay, which has slightly cooler waters than the usual locations.

Last week, 12-year-old Kylei Brown, of IN was diagnosed with flesh-eating bacteria after going for a swim at a beach IN Florida.

The case comes on the heel's of a 77-year-old lady's death last month after she scraped her leg at a Florida beach and contracted the flesh-eating situation.

She was taken to a hospital the next day where she was diagnosed with the flesh-eating disease and died Thursday after suffering two strokes and organ failure.

In Texas, there have been six confirmed cases of Vibrio vulnificus in 2019, says Lara Anton, a Department of State Health Services spokeswoman.

Officials expect those numbers to grow throughout the summer.

In 2016, there 41 confirmed cases of vibrio, but that number more than doubled to 87 a year ago.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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