A man in Ocean City got infected with vibrio vulnificus bacteria, and the infection was deadly for him. It took only a few hours for the bacteria to start damaging its organism, and the process led to the death of the patient in merely four days.
Michael Funk was a sixty-seven years old man, who decided to clean his crab pots in Ocean City in September. He had a scratch on his leg, and this was the spot that the vibrio vulnificus bacteria used for entering the man’s organism. Mr. Funk noticed that something was wrong with him a few hours after exposure.
The patient was taken to hospital after experiencing severe pain in his leg and vomiting through the day. The doctors decided to amputate his leg, which is common with vibrio vulnificus bacteria infection on open wounds. Despite this drastic measure, it was already too late for the patient, as the bacteria had reached his bloodstream.
The injuries that the vibrio vulnificus bacteria caused to Michael Funk horrified his wife, Marcia. Apart from vomiting and fever, the infection also caused skin lesions to the man. Their appearance determined people to all vibrio vulnificus “the flesh-eating bacteria.”
Michael Funk was infected with the so-called flesh-eating bacteria on September 11. Only a few days later, on September 15, he died. His wife believes that the news of his infection and death was not spread because it would have affected the reputation of the tourist site. Marcia Funk is also determined to raise awareness of vibrio vulnificus bacteria and the risks of infection.
Specialists explain that this type of bacteria lives in warm, brackish water. They are also more active in the warm season rather than other times of the year. People can contact them not only through direct contact but raw seafood as well. However, doctors state that when the bacteria get in contact with open wounds, there is a higher risk for the patient.
Health specialists believe that there should be more warnings issued about the threats posed by the vibrio vulnificus bacteria. Since they are so fond of warm waters, climate change also helps them spread rapidly.
According to statistics, more than eighty thousand such infections are reported each year in the United States. Out of them, approximately one hundred lead to the patients’ death.
Image courtesy of: Wikipedia