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New Jersey Man Could Lose All His Limbs From Flesh-Eating Bacteria After Crabbing

Jul 11, 2018 08:12 PM EDT
A man who waded the waters of New Jersey went home only to find he contracted a life-threatening infection.
(Photo : Pixabay)

One man simply went crabbing in New Jersey, but he went home with a flesh-eating bacteria that is currently threatening his life.

It's hard to imagine that such an innocent activity could lead to a potentially fatal infection, but it turns out the Vibrio bacteria is quite common in certain areas.

New Jersey Man Gets Life-Threatening Bacteria

According to Washington Post, Angel Perez hunted for crabs at Matts Landing in New Jersey before sunrise last Monday, July 2. The next day, his right leg swelled up and then turned red with blisters.

His daughter, Dilena Perez-Dilan, explains to Washington Post that Perez has issues with Parkinson's disease, so the entire family is used to his complaints. However, he insisted that this time, what he's experiencing is different.

At first, doctors thought it's just a minor bacterial infection. Then it was believed to be cellulitis. Finally, a third trip to the clinic due to the redness and blistering getting to the other leg got Perez the correct diagnosis: a flesh-eating bacteria called Vibrio.

Now, the bacteria has spread, becoming potentially fatal and a threat to his limbs. All four of his limbs are already infected. While the bacteria isn't found in his bloodstream, this doesn't mean it hasn't gotten to the muscles or skin. His forearms are now black, Patch reports.

Perez, 60, is currently in an intensive care unit with a 24-hour on-call anesthesiologist in case an emergency surgery is needed. Amputation may be necessary.

"He's praising God," Perez-Dilan shares about her father. "And he's saying, 'I'm going to fight. I'm going to fight. I'm going to fight.'"

About Vibriosis

Vibriosis is a human infection caused by the Vibrio bacteria, which lives in coastal waters.

Most people who contract the disease usually get it by eating raw or undercooked shellfish, but others get the infection when an open wound is exposed to the bacteria in brackish or salt water, according to CDC. Eighty percent of the infections are reported from May to October, when the temperature of the waters is warmer.

An estimated 80,000 cases of vibriosis occur in the United States every year, but most are mild cases that leads to recovery within about three days.

In a handful of cases of the strain Vibrio vulnificus, people can be so severely sick that intensive care or limb amputation is necessary. One in four people who have this type of vibriosis die, and some cases are fatal within just one or two days.

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