OCEAN CITY, Md. (WJZ) — A Maryland mom says hers on is battling flesh-eating bacteria after a swim in Sinepuxent Bay near Ocean City.
That mom took to Facebook to warn other parents. Her son, she said, is diagnosed with a rare infection that has already proven dangerous, and in one case- deadly this summer.
The Facebook photos show angry red patches of skin, and Brittany Carey wrote that 24 hours after her son splashed in the water near the Route 50 bridge leading into downtown Ocean City, open wounds began growing all over his body.
Soon, he was diagnosed by doctors with vibrio.
The bacteria can slip below the skin and cause necrotizing fasciitis– a dangerous and sometimes deadly infection that has been linked to Maryland waterways before.
“This thing, it does not go to sleep at night,” Al Geisler, a fisherman.
Last year, Al Geisler told WJZ he’s still in pain after surviving a case brought on by a fish he caught off Sandy Point State Park in July 2017.
He was pierced by the fish’s fin and unaware that bacteria lingered.
“It was like somebody flipped a light switch. I got deathly sick that quick,” Geisler said.
Shock Trauma doctors saved his life by cutting and then grafting skin.
According to the CDC, approximately 700 to 1,200 cases occur in the US every year.
Even with treatment up to one in three people diagnosed do not survive.
Already this summer it has killed a 77-year-old woman in Florida and infected a 12-year-old who reportedly contracted a case through a scrape on her toe after visiting a Florida beach.
Vibrio is naturally found in brackish water, like the Chesapeake.
The Maryland Department of Health has tips on its website on how to protect yourself.