Published: Thu, July 12, 2018
Medical | By Vicki Mclaughlin

Man could lose limbs from flesh-eating bacteria

Man could lose limbs from flesh-eating bacteria

Angel Perez, 60, reportedly complained of swelling and growing pain in his right leg after coming home on July 2.

Infections caused by Vibrio bacteria can enter "through an existing wound and ... cause other complications such as necrotizing fasciitis [an infection causing tissue death], which he unfortunately got", Megan Sheppard, a health officer with the Cumberland County Department of Health, told KYW.

Those with open wounds are encouraged by the New Jersey Health Department to avoid brackish water, according to WPVI.

Now, 60-year-old Perez is fighting for his life in the hospital and might have to his limbs amputated, his family told New Jersey Advance Media. It's in a group commonly known as flesh-eating bacteria.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), eating raw seafood or exposing open wounds to brackish or salt water can increase a person's risk of contracting the bacterial infection.

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

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For Perez, the infection spread quickly - taking just hours for his limbs to swell and become discolored.

'He is in critical condition, ' Perez-Dilan told the website. His forearms are black in color, they have blisters, cuts and sores'. "You can see it spreading from his feet all the way above his kneecap". If he doesn't, they may have to amputate at least three of his limbs. Perez-Dilan said that doctors at the hospital are working to save her father's legs and arms - but that "the infection has spread to his blood".

Doctors have put Perez on antibiotics and are waiting to see if responds.

"It was swelling", she said. But the symptoms got worse. "Be careful. The water, as much as we need water, it can be poisonous. 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".

As for Perez, his daughter says he and his family are relying on their faith to guide them through the situation. "He's just happy to have a second chance".

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