Man dies from flesh-eating bacteria infection after swimming in Gulf of Mexico

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CORPUS CHRISTI, TX(AP/WCMH) — South Texas health officials say a person died after becoming infected with bacteria while wade fishing in the Gulf of Mexico.

Health officials said Tuesday that the person was hospitalized with severe leg pain after going into the water with skin tears.

Measures taken to fight the infection included amputation.

The Corpus Christi-Nueces County Public Health District says vibrio bacteria naturally inhabit coastal waters where oysters live. The bacteria can enter the body through an open wound or by consuming raw or undercooked shellfish.

This is the second death nationwide caused by the vibrio vulnificus bacteria this month. Two weeks ago, a 71-year-old man died of vibrio after eating a raw oyster in Florida.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says vibriosis causes is considered a flesh-eating bacteria. It is to blame for an estimated 80,000 illnesses and 100 deaths each year in the U.S.

Dr. Emilie Prot with the Texas Department of State Health Services says there’s a larger amount of the bacteria present in summer months.

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