Man dies from flesh-eating bacteria

Health

(WMC) –  A Memphis, Tennessee man has died after doctors say he contracted a flesh-eating bacteria while swimming in the Gulf Coast.

The man’s daughter, Cheryl Wiygul, wrote in a Facebook post Wednesday that her father became ill after returning home from a family beach trip in Destin, Florida.

Wiygul said her dad developed a red sore on his back, along with red bumps on his arms and legs.

The man later died on July 7, just 48 hours after his last swim in Florida.

This is the second time in a month visitors have returned home from trips to Destin, Florida waters with confirmed cases of flesh-eating bacteria.

In a statement, the Florida Department of Health said they are now investigating those cases, and are encouraging the public not to enter the water with fresh cuts or scrapes.

Wiygul said her dad didn’t have any open cuts or wounds, but that his compromised immune system from recent cancer treatments may have put him at greater risk.

Flesh Eating Bacteria sounds like an urban legend. Let me assure you that it is not. It took my Dad’s life. This is so…

Posted by Cheryl Bennett Wiygul on Wednesday, July 10, 2019
Update on reports of flesh-eating bacteria on social media, news outlets.

The health department has not confirmed to us any deaths due to flesh eating bacteria. Our beaches, which are currently closed due to tropical storm Barry will open to the public when the risks from rip currents desist. You can minimize the risk further by being aware. Don’t go in the water if you have open cuts or wounds, disinfect any wounds you might have missed or received in the water promptly – and monitor yourself, family members and friends for any signs of sickness.People with the greatest risk of exposure to bacteria are very young children, the elderly (>64 years old), and people with chronic diseases and/or weakened immune systems since their ability to fight off infection can be limited by disease or age. This doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the Gulf, bay, pools or hot tubs. Rather you are encouraged to monitor your overall health and skin condition for possible signs of infection.

Posted by Okaloosa Board of County Commissioners on Friday, July 12, 2019

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