A second case of flesh-eating bacteria contracted in salt-water off Bolivar Peninsula is being treated at Memorial Hermann Texas Medical Center.
Infectious disease expert Dr. A. Scott Lea says Precinct 2 Judge Derry Dunn was lucky he sought treatment quickly. He had gone into shallow water for ten minutes, and after several days noticed his leg had turned bright red. He had a bad case of vibrio vulnificus. 30 to 40 percent of its victims lose a limb. 10% die.
“When it starts and until the time it causes tissue damage can be 24 to 48 hours so it progresses fairly rapidly,” Dr. Lea tells KTRH News.
The bacteria are in the cholera family and strikes in the hottest months, infecting skin in even the tiniest puncture wound or scrape. Antibiotics to kill the flesh-eating disease have be administered early to be effective.
Dr Lea says the bacterium invades the skin in soft tissues at sites there is any kind of a puncture, or a hole, or an ulcer in the skin.
Dunn had a 5x2 inch piece of skin half-an-inch thick removed from his leg.
There is an average of 20 cases reported off the Gulf coast each year.