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A guy was hospitalized ~ he caught a so-called flesh-eating bacteria in ~ a Texas beach.

You are watching: Flesh eating bacteria in texas waters

Darrell Dunn went to Crystal coast on the Gulf shore with his household on may 5, as soon as his legs to be crushed in an incident including a golf cart, his wife Robbin Kelly-Dunn said KTRK. The family were at the spot in Galveston county to celebrate she birthday.

According come Kelly-Dunn, the 911 dispatcher claimed it would certainly take some time to gain Dunn to a hospital due to the fact that of whereby they to be located. She claimed Dunn"s wounds to be exposed when he came down on the hospital.

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Kelly-Dunn, who works in health and wellness care, called KTRK: "I know protocol... Once someone comes right into the emergency room with something prefer that, especially if it"s ~ above a coast area, friend are supposed to clean the wounds since of feasible infections. Nothing to be done."

After Dunn to be discharged native hospital, the couple went come two extr hospitals and also an urgent care unit prior to he was hospitalized. At the last hospital, doctors offered Dunn antibiotics.

Dunn was diagnosed through a Vibrio vulnificus infection. The bacteria is amongst those generally described as "flesh-eating," alongside others such as A Streptococcus. The bacteria does not literally eat away at the skin, yet instead can cause a rare, severe form of infection recognized as necrotizing fasciitis where the flesh roughly the wound dies, according to the U.S. Centers for an illness Control and Prevention.

Vibrio vulnificus is present in all coastal U.S. Waters, is many often discovered in warm seawater, and also thrives in ~ temperatures above 68 levels Fahrenheit. Mostly, epidemic are attached to world eating contaminated life oysters, with about 25 percent of infections led to by an open wound comes into contact with impacted water. World who room immunocompromized, an especially those with conditions such as hepatitis B or C, and alcoholic livers an illness are much more likely to gain infected.

Symptoms of a wound infection from Vibrio vulnificus include fever, as well as redness, swelling, pain, warmth, discoloration, and also discharge at the site. Those with a blood infection have the right to experience blistered skin, fever, chills, and low blood pressure.

Images that his wounds published by KTRK present a patch on Dunn"s leg wherein the skin had end up being blistered.

Wounds infected with Vibrio vulnificus sometimes must be reduced away, or the area amputated, the CDC says on that website.

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Kelly-Dunn called KTRK: "Had ns waited, he could have possibly shed his limb."

Dr. Anthony Flores, combine professor in Pediatric infectious Diseases at McGovern clinical School, called KTRK: "The epidemic themselves that we view in either kids or adults space pretty rare. But, when we perform see them, it"s typically after exposure come the waters whereby the bug lives."

On that website, Galveston County health District highlights just how rare such infections are. In 2015, end 10 million people visited Texas beaches and also fewer than 0.00035 percent people caught Vibrio vulnificus. The bulk of those recovered without any type of long-term health and wellness problems.


An illustration reflects vibrio vulnificus bacteria. Darrell Dunn captured the bacteria at a Texas beach.Getty Images/Dr_Microbe