Man contracts flesh-eating bacteria while crabbing in NJ

Angel Perez, 60, went crabbing in Maurice River on July 2, according to KYW.

'The infection has spread to his blood.his skin. She told NJ.com that doctors at Cooper University Hospital are waiting to see if Perez, 60, responds to antibiotics before deciding whether they must amputate any or all of his limbs. Dilena says doctors blame a bacteria called Vibrio.

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. It's in a group commonly known as flesh-eating bacteria.

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

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. With the prognosis still unknown, the Perez family is praying Angel leaves the hospital with his life and limbs. "It was swelling, it was blistered", she recalled.

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The bacteria is usually only a concern when you eat raw shellfish, but Perez says his immunity was already compromised because of Parkinson's disease. The infection is rare, but New Jersey does report several cases of it each year. "You can see it spreading from his feet all the way above his kneecap". 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'.

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. We think water is safe.

Perez-Dilan said her father is not breathing well but on his own and is only able to slightly move his right arm - yet is in good spirits.

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

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