Father fights for life and limbs after contracting flesh-eating bacteria in river

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

But on July 2, he was crabbing at Matt's Landing near the Maurice River.

"It was swelling", she said. The father is now in the ICU at Cooper University Hospital in Camden, NJ, according to NJ Advance Media.

The disease has spread to all four of his limbs, causing discoloration and blisters. She said doctors are waiting to see if he responds to antibiotics before considering amputation.

According to the CDC, most people become infected with the bacteria after eating raw or undercooked shellfish.

Perez's daughter, Dilena Perez-Dilan, said that her father's leg turned "practically [a] brown, blackish color" before his condition deteriorated further, according to WPVI.

The CDC reports about 200 cases of this bacteria each year. His daughter told NJ.com that both a family member and friend started to come down with something similar.

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"It was swelling so much, it looked like a prosthetic", Perez-Dilan said. But the New Jersey Health Department says if anyone has open cuts or scrapes, it's best to stay out of the brackish water. Brackish water is a salty combination of fresh and seawater often found in places like the Chesapeake Bay where the ocean's salt water mixes with fresh water.

State and county officials have acknowledged that Vibrio bacteria "is not uncommon for the waters" but can not do much aside from advising people to stay out of brackish water, according to NJ Advance Media.

"It's summer. People want to swim and have fun, but just be very careful", she told WTXF.

When a number of cases were reported a year ago in Alabama, Dr. Karen Landers, assistant state health officer for the Alabama Department of Public Health, told CNN that it's important to be "wound- and water-aware", especially during the summer months. We think water is safe.

"Typically, when you get an infection like this, it enters through an existing wound and can spread throughout the bloodstream and can cause other complications such as necrotizing fasciitis, which he unfortunately got", said Cumberland County Health Officer Megan Sheppard.

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