Man could lose limbs from flesh-eating bacteria

Angel Perez 60 complained of symptoms after returning from crabbing on July 2

Hours after he went crabbing in a New Jersey river, 60-year-old Angel Perez started to notice swelling in his right leg.

Vibrio necrotizing fasciitis (VNF) is caused by Vibrio bacteria, which are found in coastal waters and multiply during the warm months, typically between May and October. The Millville resident's troubles began with severe pain and swelling in his right leg, and quickly grew to include swelling and blisters all over his body, as well as red, raw skin.

The National Institutes of Health says that while Vibrio bacteria "is one of the more infrequent causes of necrotizing fasciitis", it has a 26 percent mortality rate because it rapidly spreads and it is hard to diagnose. The father is now in the ICU at Cooper University Hospital in Camden, NJ, according to NJ Advance Media.

"He is in critical condition", Perez-Dilan told NJ Advance Media.

"He's been praising God nonstop", Perez-Dilan said.

"It was swelling so much, it looked like a prosthetic", Perez-Dilan said. His forearms are black in color, they have blisters, cuts and sores'.

The bacteria can also be spread through eating raw shellfish.

"I'm too young to lose my dad", daughter Dilena Perez-Dilan, 28, said. "If you see something that's out of the norm, go and get it checked".

Doctors are waiting to see if Perez responds to antibiotics, his daughter says. Perez-Dilan said one of her father's friends and another family member developed rashes and swelling. According to the family, bacteria commonly found in salt water bays got into Perez's blood system. He's just happy to have a second chance, ' she said.

Perez-Dilan warned people that a quick dip in the waters could come with frightening consequences. We think water is safe.

Perez has Parkinson's disease, which could put him at greater risk for this type of an infection.

Representatives from the Cumberland County Department of Health could not immediately be reached by TIME for comment, but told NJ.com that this type of bacteria is known to exist in waters in New Jersey, especially in summertime.

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