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An infectious disease expert answers the questions many of us have about flesh-eating bacteria. USA TODAY

After crabbing in a New Jersey river, a man caught a flesh-eating bacteria that is threatening his life and all of his limbs, according to reports

Angel Perez of Millville, New Jersey. was crabbing in Maurice River and just a few hours later his arms and legs were in severe pain and beginning to balloon up. 

His daughter, Dilena Perez-Dilan, told NJ.com that her father had contracted Vibrio necrotizing fasciitis, a flesh-eating bacteria that can be contracted in the summer months from salty water or from eating raw or undercooked shelfish. 

"He is in critical condition," Perez-Dilan told NJ.com. "The infection has spread to his blood ... his skin; you can see it spreading from his feet all the way above his kneecap. His forearms are black in color; they have blisters, cuts and sores."

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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, necrotizing fasciitis is a serious bacterial skin infection, in Perez's case caused by the Vibrio bacteria, that spreads quickly and kills the body’s soft tissue. 

About 100 people die out of an estimated 80,000 vibriosis cases in the United States each year, per the CDC. 

Perez is currently in the ICU fighting for his life, while doctors are waiting to see if they will need to amputate potentially all of his limbs if his body does not respond to antibiotics. 

Follow Courtney Marabella on Twitter: @CourtMarabella

 

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