Wednesday, June 19th, 2013
en:False color scanning electron micrograph of en:Vibrio vulnificus bacteria. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
There are many potential dangers associated with swimming or fishing in Texas coastal waters, and one of them is the possibility of being infected with a flesh-eating bacteria. James Jim Rutledge of Katy, Texas, was aware of the dangers of bacteria. A man who fished frequently, he made it a practice to wear waders. Earlier this month, however, the waders weren’t enough to prevent Rutledge from being infected. Just two days after being exposed to flesh-eating bacteria on a fishing trip, Rutledge died.
Eva Rutledge, the deceased man’s wife, wants to get the word out that people need to avoid coastal waters when bacteria levels are high. Otherwise, they could also suffer a horrible tragedy.
Eva says that when her husband got home from the fateful fishing trip, he was weak. By the next morning, his leg, which had been bruised before he went fishing, was blackened and had lacerations and blisters. He was rushed to a nearby hospital, where doctors scraped away his skin and discovered that the tissue and muscle were dead. They amputated his leg, but the bacteria continued to move through his body, and he didn’t survive much longer.
The autopsy report hasn’t been completed yet on Rutledge, but doctors believe he died of sepsis or an infection from exposure to Vibrio bacteria which he got while fishing near Galveston. Vibrio is an organism often found in coastal waters; it can make a person ill and even cause death.
The complete name of the bacteria is Vibrio vulnificus. If a person with a weakened immune system is exposed to the bacteria, it’s 80 times more likely that it will spread into the bloodstream. When the bacteria gets into the bloodstream, blistering skin lesions usually occur as well as septic shock and possible death.
Tags: Bacteria,Fishing,Necrotizing fasciitis,Texas,Touch Bionics,United States,Vibrio,Vibrio vulnificus