Thursday, July 19, 2007

Man Infected With Flesh-Eating Bacteria

Bacteria Caught While Fishing! A man is fighting for his life after he was infected with a deadly flesh-eating bacteria. Steve Gilpatrick said he and his family go to Galveston every year for a week of vacation. "We have a big family and everybody comes here and just has fun," daughter Erin Gilpatrick said. Steve Gilpatrick was fishing at Crystal Beach on July 8. "He was in the water for no more than half an hour," wife Linda Gilpatrick said. Within a few days, Steve Gilpatrick had an infection in his leg, Houston TV station KPRC reported. "He's diabetic and just thought he had an infection, a severe infection of some sort," Linda Gilpatrick said. "He had no way of knowing the gravity of it." Doctors at John Sealy Hospital said they believe Steve Gilpatrick has Vibrio vulnificus, a bacteria that kills tissues and cells as it spreads. The bacteria likely entered through an open wound, doctors said. After three surgeries, all the skin has been removed from his right leg. The leg may have to be amputated and the infection could kill him. "He could die at any minute," Erin Gilpatrick said. "There's nothing we can do about it, but pray and try to help him get better." *** This is what Vibrio vulnificus did to the hand of Lou Groth, a Louisianna fisherman. If Lou Groth had known, or even suspected, he might have been able to clean his hands properly after handling shrimp late one day in early July. Or, after his ring finger started swelling the next day, go to a hospital’s emergency room sooner. What he wants to do is get the word out to other people so they know about the “bad little bug,” as he calls it, that is so prevalent along the coast and a constant threat during the summer months to outdoorsmen who love to work and play in South Louisiana. Read his story here.

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