A man from Dallas was reported dead after he was infected by a flesh-eating bacteria from the Gulf of Mexico which entered his body through a fresh tattoo on his leg.
The 31-year old, whose identity remains undisclosed, went swimming in the gulf that is the habitat of vibro vulnificus, only five days after getting his new leg tattoo. The bacteria normally spreads by consuming undercooked fish or having a cut or an open wound come in contact with contaminated water.
The man came to the Parkland Memorial Hospital three days after he was in the water, with extreme leg pain, bruises, and large blisters. The infected leg became discolored very quickly, only hours after exposure, with visible bruising and blistering. This was, obviously, very alarming, according to Dr. Nicholas Hendren. The man, reportedly, also had a chronic liver disease, developed septic shock and died as a result.
The flesh-eating bacteria, vibro vulnificus, is thriving from May to October as the water it inhabitants is significantly warmer. People who have a weaker immune system, have cancer or liver disease or are getting a therapy for immunosuppression, are more susceptible to contracting the infection, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
When getting a new tattoo, the general advice is not to go into the publically shared water, such as pools or hot tubs, for at least a few weeks. This advice is not one to take lightly it seems, as there have been more cases of severe complications due to bacterial infections spread through a unhealed tattoo.
In the summer of 2016, a Texan man had his leg amputated after the bacterial infection wreaked havoc on his body. Another man was in a very serious danger of losing his leg because of the same infection. The contaminated areas were in Galveston and Port Aransas.
Bacterial infections, especially those that are deadly as this one, are not something to take lightly, especially when having tattoos or other procedures done to you. According to the Texas Department of State Health Services, there have been 27 cases of vibrio vulnificus this year alone with 41% of those cases being caused by contact with some body of water.