Texas is currently in the midst of a flesh-eating bacteria scare.
State officials say 27 cases of the disease have been reported so far this year, but this week, there have been two highly-publicized cases, including one that resulted in the amputation of a 50-year-old man’s leg.
Brian Parrott contacted the bacteria at a beach in Galveston, Texas, where he was sitting at the waters’ edge, watching his daughter and granddaughter swim in the water.
“You go swimming with your family on Sunday, you go to work on Monday, you have a red leg on Tuesday, Wednesday you have boils on your leg, Thursday you lose the leg,” Parrott’s mother, Donna Dailey, told Fox 26 News in Houston.
Parrott was rushed to a nearby hospital and underwent surgery to amputate his right leg from the knee down.
“When we got there, they already had him hooked up to everything and were trying to save his life,” Dailey said. “They said it was extremely serious, and they didn’t know what they were going to be able to do,” she told ABC7 News.
A GoFundMe page was set up for Parrot.
On Thursday, it was then reported that another man, 42-year-old Adrian Ruiz, was infected with flesh-eating bacteria in Port Aransas, Texas, located about 200 miles from Galveston.
Both men were diagnosed with an infection of Vibrio vulnificus, the flesh-eating bacteria.
Ruiz, from Kyle, Texas, was described as being in “critical” condition, a friend of the family, Kristi Hill, told the Austin American-Statesman. He was admitted to the intensive care unit at Seton Medical Center Hays on Monday.
Ruiz’s family is urging Port Aransas officials to warn people near water about current bacteria levels.
“These cities need to post signs on the beaches and let people know,” Lashelle Ruiz told the paper. “Because if we had known there was flesh-eating bacteria, we wouldn’t have entered. … This could have been a child. Unfortunately, it’s my husband, but it could’ve been somebody else’s kid.”
The Texas Department of State Health Services said there were 102 cases of Vibrio in 2015, and 77 in 2014. In 2016, 27 people have been infected, officials told the Austin-American Statesman.
The Texas Department of State Health Services recommends the following precautions to avoid contracting vibrio:
– Avoid seawater if one has a pre-existing wound, cut, or broken skin.
– Don’t eat shellfish or raw oysters.
– If one sustains a wound or injury while exposed to seawater or handling seafood, clean and disinfect the area immediately and seek medical attention if the area becomes inflamed.