A month ago, Michael Funk was infected with flesh-eating bacteria while he was cleaning crab pots. Unfortunately, the Maryland citizen died a few days later due to the violent symptoms.
These bacteria are known as Vibrio vulnificus and they are usually found in warm water where the salinity level is low. These waters are the ideal environment for oysters and shellfish, the common disease-carrying seafood.
People can contract this infection if they eat undercooked or raw seafood or if they swim in contaminated water. However, the latter situation is dangerous if people enter the water having cuts or open wounds on their bodies, but even so, experts strongly recommend Americans to take no risks.
The flesh-eating bacteria contaminated the water in Assawoman Bay and spread in the surrounding area. Funk had a cut on his leg, and that is how the infection developed in his body. His condition quickly became worse and sadly, the man died within a few days.
His wife Marcia said that the ulcerated lesions were ‘like something out of a horror movie.’ Although he went to the hospital and received the correct diagnose, the surgeon couldn’t do more than removing a large skin part of the infected leg.
Eventually, doctors had to amputate his leg, but that was not enough either because the flesh-eating bacteria was already in the man’s bloodstream. On September 15, after four days of fighting the infection, Funk died.
According to the CDC experts, people with scrapes and cuts are strongly recommended to avoid getting into warm and cloudy waters because it is most likely infested with the flesh-eating bacteria.
They further added that everyone should cover such wounds with waterproof bandages especially if they handle sharp tools while cooking raw seafood. Fishers must be extremely careful to avoid cutting themselves with knives or when they set their fishing nets.
Marcia Funk underlined that the death of her husband represents the consequence of the lack of information regarding the Vibrio vulnificus in the waters surrounding the Ocean City.
Most infections caused by the flesh-eating bacteria occur from May to October, while Jessica Waters, the town’s spokeswoman confessed that although the Vibrio vulnificus was not new in that area, it was not part of the officials’ awareness program.
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