Man contracts flesh-eating bacteria while crabbing in NJ, may lose limbs

Desiree Burns
July 11, 2018

The decision comes after Angel Perez, 60, was exposed to a flesh-eating bacteria while crabbing last week in the Maurice River. Angel Perez, 60, reportedly complained of swelling and growing pain in his right leg after coming home on July 2. Perez' daughter, Dilena Perez-Dilan, told NJ.com that her father's condition is due to infection from Vibrio vulnificus, a type of flesh-eating bacteria.

The swelling started around scratches that Perez had on his right leg, family told WTXF.

Perez was rushed to Cooper University Hospital in Camden, where he was quickly admitted into the intensive care unit.

VNF is referred to as a flesh-eating bacteria because the infection results in tissue damage and death.

"Take precaution", Perez-Dilan said. They noticed that all four limbs had begun to swell and change color.

"The choice is life or limbs", Perez-Dilan told CBS Philadelphia. His forearms are black in color, they have blisters, cuts and sores'.

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"Typically, when you get an infection like this, it enters through an existing wound and can spread throughout the bloodstream and can cause other complications such as necrotizing fasciitis, which he unfortunately got", said Cumberland County Health Officer Megan Sheppard.

Doctors are waiting to see if Perez responds to antibiotics, his daughter says.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), eating raw seafood or exposing open wounds to brackish or salt water can increase a person's risk of contracting the bacterial infection. Perez-Dilan said one of her father's friends and another family member developed rashes and swelling. "He's just happy to have a second chance".

Perez-Dilan warned people that a quick dip in the waters could come with frightening consequences.

In Perez's case, he is immunocompromised because he has Parkinson's disease.

But the New Jersey health department says if anyone has open cuts or scrapes, it's best to stay out of brackish water, according to WPVI. We think water is safe.

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