A Texas man fishing in the Gulf of Mexico has died after contracting a flesh-eating bacteria commonly found in coastal waters where oysters live, health officials said.
The Corpus Christi-Nueces County Public Health District said Tuesday that the elderly patient was “wade fishing” with open wounds before begin transported to an area hospital with “severe leg pain and classic signs” of a Vibrio bacterial infection.
A press release from health officials described some of these symptoms as blistering skin lesions, fever, nausea, severe pain and vomiting.
The unidentified man died Saturday, just 24-36 hours after being admitted to the hospital, despite extreme measures to save him that included amputation.
Dr. Emilie Prot, regional director with the Texas Department of State Health Services, told Fox News that while there are many species of the Vibrio bacteria, this patient died from Vibrio vulnificus – a flesh-eating bacteria.
Vibrio is known to be found in coastal waters where oysters live and cause an estimated 80,000 illnesses and at least 100 deaths in the United States annually, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
People can contract the bacteria either by exposing a wound to the infected water or consuming raw or uncooked seafood.
Just last week, a Florida man died from eating an oyster with the same species of the bacteria, the New York Post reported.
The CDC says the most infections occur from May to October due to the increase in water temperatures.