In what his family is equating to a horror movie, an Arizona man fell ill and, four days later, died from a flesh-eating bacteria infection.
On Sept. 11, Michael Funk had just returned to his Ocean City, Maryland condominium when he began to feel ill after cleaning crab pots, DelmarvaNow reported. Funk was taken to the hospital, where a surgeon removed infected skin from his leg. He was then flown to a shock trauma hospital in Baltimore, where his leg was amputated.
"It was very fast moving," his widow, Marcia Funk, told DelmarvaNow. "He was in so much pain."
Funk told the news station Ocean City failed to share adequate warning about the bacteria, vibrio vunificus.
"I really feel they kept it quiet because it's a tourist resort," she told DelmarvaNow. "It's like something out of a horror movie."
In 2014, state officials issued an advisory of an outbreak of the bacteria that infected 57 in 2013. Ocean City spokeswoman Jessica Waters told DelmarvaNow that the municipality has many outreach and education campaigns, but the bacteria "has never been part of our awareness efforts, at least to my knowledge."
Vibrio is most common in warm, brackish waters with low salinity. The bacteria can also be contracted from consuming raw or undercooked seafood, or, as in Funk’s case, from the infection entering through cuts, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Funk enjoyed being on the water.
"He loved the water, he loved boating, he loved crabbing," his widow told DelmarvaNow. "Basically, what he loved doing took his life."