Published: Wed, July 11, 2018
Medicine | By Douglas Stevenson

Man exposed to flesh-eating bacteria while crabbing

"It was swelling", she said.

Perez' family took him to the Cooper University Hospital, where he is listed in critical condition as doctors now work to save his four limbs, Fox 29 reported. The Millville resident's troubles began with severe pain and swelling in his right leg, and quickly grew to include swelling and blisters all over his body, as well as red, raw skin.

The National Institutes of Health says that while Vibrio bacteria "is one of the more infrequent causes of necrotizing fasciitis", it has a 26 percent mortality rate because it rapidly spreads and it is hard to diagnose.

But the New Jersey health department says if anyone has open cuts or scrapes, it's best to stay out of brackish water, according to WPVI. Anyone with liver disease or a weakened immune system should also avoid eating raw shellfish because the bacteria can also be spread through food. She now has a rash on her leg, and her leg [had] painful swelling, ' Perez-Dilan said.

"It can be risky and we don't know what we're getting into when we get in there", Perez-Dilan told WPVI. The infection is rare, but New Jersey does report several cases of it each year. The bacteria is more risky to those with compromised immune systems, like Perez, who has Parkinson's disease.

Nonetheless, the family says Perez is in good spirits. And then another friend of [my father's] that goes fishing there, he now has a baseball-size swelling of his elbow and that's where he's been going'.

Perez tested positive for a bacterium commonly found in coastal ocean water, Vibrio vulnificus, according to KYW. "Be careful. The water, as much as we need water, it can be poisonous".

"Typically, when you get an infection like this, it enters through an existing wound and can spread throughout the bloodstream and can cause other complications such as necrotizing fasciitis, which he unfortunately got", said Cumberland County Health Officer Megan Sheppard.

Perez-Dilan warned people that a quick dip in the waters could come with frightening consequences.

"He's been praising God nonstop", Perez-Dilan said.

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