A New Jersey man may be forced to choose between "life or limbs" after contracting a flesh-eating bacteria while fishing for crabs in the Maurice River.
Angel Perez of Millville, New Jersey. was crabbing in Maurice River and just a few hours later his arms and legs were in severe pain and beginning to balloon up.
His daughter told NJ.com that her father had contracted Vibrio necrotizing fasciitis, a flesh-eating bacteria that can be contracted in the summer months from salty water, and that he is in critical condition.
The swelling started around scratches that Perez had on his right leg, family told WTXF.
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.
Perez was rushed to Cooper University Hospital in Camden, where he was quickly admitted into the intensive care unit.
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In other words, it's a flesh-eating bacterial infection. "The infection has spread to his blood.his skin; you can see it spreading from his feet all the way above his kneecap".
Perez-Dilan told NJ Advance Media that her father's infection has spread to his blood and skin, and that his forearms have turned black. They noticed that all four limbs had begun to swell and change color.
Doctors are waiting to see if Perez responds to antibiotics, his daughter says.
Nonetheless, the family says Perez is in good spirits. Most cases happen after an open wound comes into contact with "brackish or salt water", or after eating raw or undercooked shellfish, according to the CDC. "He's just happy to have a second chance".
Perez has Parkinson's disease, which could put him at greater risk for this type of an infection. With the prognosis still unknown, the Perez family is praying Angel leaves the hospital with his life and limbs. But the New Jersey Health Department says if anyone has open cuts or scrapes, it's best to stay out of the brackish water. "Be careful. The water, as much as we need water, it can be poisonous".