Texas man contracts flesh-eating bacteria during beach trip

Adrian Ruiz and his family. (Courtesy: Ruiz Family via KXAN)

BUDA, Texas (KXAN) – A Father’s Day getaway to Port Aransas has left one Texas man fighting an infection from a flesh-eating bacteria. Adrian Ruiz’s family says they made their way down to the coast last weekend to spend time some fishing and fun in the sun.

On Sunday, Ruiz told his wife he had a headache and noticed a rash developing on his leg. Within a few days, his rash got worse and once he made it to the doctor, they diagnosed him with Vibrio Vulnificus. Vibrio is a bacteria caused by eating under-cooked shellfish or by entering contaminated water with a cut or open wound.

So far this year, the Texas Department of State Health Services says there have been 27 reported cases of Vibrio. Out of those 27 cases, officials say 41 percent involved contact with water. In 2015, the department had 102 cases reported, 45 percent of those involved contact with water.In Houston, a 50-year-old man from Jacinto City had to get his leg amputated this week after a similar infection.

KTRK reports Brian Parrot made a beach trip to Galveston last week when he got the infection.

Tips for avoiding wound infections:

  • Do not handle raw seafood of any kind if you have a pre-existing wound.
  • Wear protective clothing (ie. Gloves) when handling raw seafood.
  • Avoid marine, estuarine or brackish (sea/ocean) water if you have a pre-existing wound.
  • If you sustain a wound or injury while exposed to salty seawater or while handling seafood, thoroughly clean and disinfect the area immediately and seek medical attention if the area becomes inflamed.

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