Man contracts flesh-eating bacteria while crabbing in NJ

Angel Perez contracted a flesh-eating bacteria while crabbing

A 60-year-old man contracted a flesh-eating bacteria while crabbing in the Maurice River last week, and now he could have his limbs amputated to stop the infection.

Angel Perez of Millville, New Jersey. was crabbing in Maurice River and just a few hours later his arms and legs were in severe pain and beginning to balloon up.

Doctors believe that the Vibrio bacteria, which is often found in warmer waters where the river meets the sea, is behind his infection. He is now in the ICU at Cooper, the infection spread to all four limbs.

"He is in critical condition", Perez-Dilan told NJ Advance Media.

Officials say the best way to avoid the bacteria is to avoid raw shellfish, and to only swim in water that is regularly tested. His forearms are black in color, they have blisters, cuts and sores'. "We think water is safe", said Dilena Perez-Dilan, Angel's daughter. They do say that Mr. Perez is in good spirits. "If you see something that's out of the norm, go and get it checked". "And then another friend of (Perez) that goes fishing there, he now has a baseball-size swelling of his elbow, and that's where he's been going".

Doctors have put Perez on antibiotics and are waiting to see if responds.

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As for Perez, his daughter says he and his family are relying on their faith to guide them through the situation.

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. He's just happy to have a second chance, ' she said.

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

Perez's family now wants to warn others. "Be careful. The water, as much as we need water, it can be poisonous".

Representatives from the Cumberland County Department of Health could not immediately be reached by TIME for comment, but told NJ.com that this type of bacteria is known to exist in waters in New Jersey, especially in summertime.

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