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Man Contracts Flesh-Eating Bacteria At Texas Beach
CBS11-TV (Texas) ^ | 7/18/07 | n/a

Posted on 07/18/2007 6:51:25 PM PDT by kiriath_jearim

A Nacogdoches man was in critical but stable condition after three surgeries aimed at saving him from a flesh-eating bacteria that infected him during a swim off the coast of Galveston County.

Steve Gilpatrick, 58, was diagnosed with necrotizing fasciitis, a tissue-destroying disease caused by a bacterium called Vibrio vulnificus, when he took ill three days after swimming during a July 8 fishing trip at Crystal Beach.

Gilpatrick's physician, Dr. David Herndon, the chief of burn services and professor of surgery at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, said Tuesday the situation is life-threatening because the infection spread to Gilpatrick's blood. Gilpatrick is suffering from multiple organ failure and doctors are trying to save his leg.

"I've heard of flesh-eating bacteria, but it always seemed so far away," said his wife, Linda Gilpatrick. "It's not. It's here."

The Gilpatricks regularly vacation in Galveston each summer, she said.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the bacterium Vibrio vulnificus thrives during summer months in the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

Swimmers with weakened immune systems, such as cancer patients or people with liver disease, are most at risk. A point of entry, such as an open wound, allows the bacteria into the body.

Gilpatrick is diabetic and had an ulcer on his lower leg when he went swimming. His wife said he believed the sore was nearly healed. His leg became infected three days later and he began running a high fever.

"We figured he had some type of infection," Linda Gilpatrick said. "But we didn't, of course, realize the extent of it."

The CDC says most cases of Vibrio vulnificus occur along the Gulf Coast, but it's rare. In Texas, there were 22 cases of the infection reported in 2006, with at least seven caused by water contact, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services.

People can also be infected by eating contaminated seafood. Raw shellfish, particularly oysters, pose the greatest risk, according to CDC. The bacterium causes nearly all seafood-related deaths in the United States, the agency says.

Symptoms of the disease include vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain. When it infects the bloodstream, it can cause fever, decreased blood pressure and blistering skin lesions.

Dr. Robert Atmar, a professor and infectious disease specialist at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, said seafood-eaters should be aware of the infection risk, but healthy swimmers shouldn't worry.

"I wouldn't alter (swimming) activities based on this, if you're otherwise healthy," he said. "People who have chronic illnesses like diabetes or steroids or cancer or chronic liver disease, if they have open wounds or sores, shouldn't go wading in the Gulf during the summer."


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Miscellaneous; News/Current Events; US: Texas
KEYWORDS: necrotizingfasciitis; vibrio; vibriovulnificus

1 posted on 07/18/2007 6:51:27 PM PDT by kiriath_jearim
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To: kiriath_jearim
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the bacterium Vibrio vulnificus thrives during summer months in the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

Swimmers with weakened immune systems, such as cancer patients or people with liver disease, are most at risk. A point of entry, such as an open wound, allows the bacteria into the body. Gilpatrick is diabetic and had an ulcer on his lower leg when he went swimming.
This is much like the 500 lb. guy who decided to go tubing. Sometimes, you set yourself up.

2 posted on 07/18/2007 6:55:54 PM PDT by Clara Lou (Thompson-Hunter '08-- imwithfred.com)
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To: kiriath_jearim
diagnosed with necrotizing fasciitis

a.k.a. Hillary's disease.

3 posted on 07/18/2007 6:56:03 PM PDT by Izzy Dunne (Hello, I'm a TAGLINE virus. Please help me spread by copying me into YOUR tag line.)
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To: kiriath_jearim

When I read the headline, my first thoughts were this guy is either a diabetic with an open lesion or immunosuppressed for some other reason.

This is not really anything of great public health importance. Diabetics with open lesions should always be cognizant of exposure to potential infectious agents, and why would anyone assume that the Gulf is ‘sterile’?


4 posted on 07/18/2007 6:56:48 PM PDT by Ethrane ("semper consolar")
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To: FrogHawk

ping


5 posted on 07/18/2007 7:00:54 PM PDT by FrogHawk (watchforlowflyingfrogs)
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To: 1riot1ranger; Action-America; Aggie Mama; Alkhin; Allegra; American72; antivenom; Antoninus II; ...

Houston PING


6 posted on 07/18/2007 7:04:20 PM PDT by weegee (If the Fairness Doctrine is imposed on USA who will CNN news get to read the conservative rebuttal)
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To: Cailleach

As much as I love sushi and raw oysters I gave them up when I got the Lupus diagnosis. I still think longingly about a freshly shucked oyster from time to time but the risk just isn’t worth it.


7 posted on 07/18/2007 7:07:20 PM PDT by kalee (The offenses we give, we write in the dust; Those we take, we write in marble. JHuett)
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To: Izzy Dunne

aka circumcision complication

http://www.cirp.org/library/complications/bliss/


8 posted on 07/18/2007 7:10:36 PM PDT by spanalot
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To: kiriath_jearim

Same thing happened in 2004, a Houston fisherman contracted in wading down at Port O’Connor.


9 posted on 07/18/2007 7:12:05 PM PDT by Spirochete
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To: kalee
I still think longingly about a freshly shucked oyster

Some longings are better not disclosed.

10 posted on 07/18/2007 7:14:30 PM PDT by 69ConvertibleFirebird (Never argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level, then beat you with experience.)
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To: kiriath_jearim
Here's a nice picture for those who are not too squeamish.

www.jyi.org/volumes/volume5/issue8/images/hu_1.jpg

11 posted on 07/18/2007 7:15:05 PM PDT by DumpsterDiver
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To: 69ConvertibleFirebird

Our secret, ok? lol


12 posted on 07/18/2007 7:20:47 PM PDT by kalee (The offenses we give, we write in the dust; Those we take, we write in marble. JHuett)
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To: kiriath_jearim

Many years ago, I was dating a little cutie from Lake Jackson, Texas. While I was visiting, She took me to the beach near Galveston.

I grew up in Walton County, Fl (where the beaches have snow white sand and the water is clear blue/green), in the Panhandle. After seeing the brown water, there was no way I was going swimming at that Texas beach.


13 posted on 07/18/2007 7:22:17 PM PDT by yarddog
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To: spanalot

Oh my.


14 posted on 07/18/2007 7:32:07 PM PDT by sweetiepiezer (Boycott China)
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To: kiriath_jearim; neverdem; LucyT

ping.


15 posted on 07/18/2007 7:33:01 PM PDT by sweetiepiezer (Boycott China)
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To: sweetiepiezer

thanks, bfl


16 posted on 07/18/2007 7:34:08 PM PDT by neverdem (Call talk radio. We need a Constitutional Amendment for Congressional term limits. Let's Roll!)
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To: kiriath_jearim
People who have chronic illnesses like diabetes or steroids or cancer or chronic liver disease, if they have open wounds or sores, shouldn't go wading in the Gulf during the summer."

Don't go to this doctor, or to this reporter...they think steroids is a chronic disease.

17 posted on 07/18/2007 7:36:29 PM PDT by Rudder
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To: kiriath_jearim

18 posted on 07/18/2007 7:37:37 PM PDT by sushiman
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To: sushiman

19 posted on 07/18/2007 7:38:11 PM PDT by sushiman
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To: Mother Abigail; EBH; vetvetdoug; Smokin' Joe

micro ping


20 posted on 07/18/2007 7:42:10 PM PDT by neverdem (Call talk radio. We need a Constitutional Amendment for Congressional term limits. Let's Roll!)
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To: DumpsterDiver

“Here’s a nice picture for those who are not too squeamish.
www.jyi.org/volumes/volume5/issue8/images/hu_1.jpg”

Point taken. If it’s all the same to all of you, I plan to continue swimming in chlorinated pools. They’re not perfect either but the odds are I’ll be safer.

I also don’t recall hearing about any uninvited sharks frolicking about in a swimming pool. Yet.


21 posted on 07/18/2007 7:48:53 PM PDT by Rightfootforward
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To: kiriath_jearim
In the Summer of 85 I was at Keesler AFB for Tech School. I went to the Beach on the Gulf of Mexico in Biloxi. I took one look at the water and said, “Oh Hell No!”
22 posted on 07/18/2007 7:53:34 PM PDT by Grizzled Bear ("Does not play well with others.")
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To: kiriath_jearim
Yikes! Good thing we went to Corpus.

: |

23 posted on 07/18/2007 8:05:02 PM PDT by AnnaZ (I keep 2 magnums in my desk.One's a gun and I keep it loaded.Other's a bottle and it keeps me loaded)
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To: weegee

Did this guy have a cut on him?


24 posted on 07/18/2007 8:08:19 PM PDT by shield (A wise man's heart is at his RIGHT hand;but a fool's heart at his LEFT. Ecc 10:2)
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To: sushiman

Lookie here, raw meat on the scene and the sushiman shows up in a New York minute!


25 posted on 07/18/2007 8:09:47 PM PDT by Revolting cat! (We all need someone we can bleed on...)
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To: weegee

You don’t need to answer me. I read an earlier posting and it didn’t give the details. Yes, he did have an opening on his leg. This report makes a lot more sense.


26 posted on 07/18/2007 8:15:15 PM PDT by shield (A wise man's heart is at his RIGHT hand;but a fool's heart at his LEFT. Ecc 10:2)
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To: Grizzled Bear
I used to do the environmental health surveillance of the water by the USAF on the Beaches around Keesler AFB. They never were anything but off limits to USAF personnel because of the fecal and sewage contamination that was prevalent there (1974-1977). The Tchutabufa River and the Back Bay of Biloxi was contaminated even worse than the Gulf exposed water. I know of several cases of disease contracted by Airmen that were just splashed by the water boating on the back bay. Giardia, Shigella, and Salmonella were common.
27 posted on 07/18/2007 8:20:05 PM PDT by vetvetdoug
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To: vetvetdoug

There were several people swimming in the stuff. It even smelled nasty!


28 posted on 07/18/2007 8:30:05 PM PDT by Grizzled Bear ("Does not play well with others.")
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To: yarddog

That was Surfside. The ugliest place in the world.

I grew up around Padre Island, TX (big dunes, white sand and clear water), and spent as much time as possible there. We move to the Lake Jackson area when I was 12, After months of begging, our mother finally took us to the “beach”. When we topped the causeway bridge and saw that nasty town and dirty beach, we begged her to take us back home. I lived in that area for three more years and never once had the desire to go to the beach.


29 posted on 07/18/2007 8:30:07 PM PDT by TheMom (Dix, TexasCowboy and Flyer all now live in the next best place to Texas . . . Heaven!)
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To: AnnaZ

Isn’t that a great city? Did you take the tour on the Lex?


30 posted on 07/18/2007 8:32:17 PM PDT by TheMom (Dix, TexasCowboy and Flyer all now live in the next best place to Texas . . . Heaven!)
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To: TheMom
Did you take the tour on the Lex?

Yes. We went there on the 4th, specifically for the tour, as it was my 7-year-old's birthday and he's a huge WWII buff. He loved it!

31 posted on 07/18/2007 8:39:12 PM PDT by AnnaZ (I keep 2 magnums in my desk.One's a gun and I keep it loaded.Other's a bottle and it keeps me loaded)
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To: kiriath_jearim; sam_paine
Oops. My #23 was actually meant for "sam".
32 posted on 07/18/2007 8:41:23 PM PDT by AnnaZ (I keep 2 magnums in my desk.One's a gun and I keep it loaded.Other's a bottle and it keeps me loaded)
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To: yarddog
"I grew up in Walton County, Fl (where the beaches have snow white sand and the water is clear blue/green), in the Panhandle. After seeing the brown water, there was no way I was going swimming at that Texas beach."

Yup. Same here. We spent summers at Gulf Shores, Alabama. I was never more disappointed when I moved to Houston and finally went to Galveston.

33 posted on 07/18/2007 8:49:54 PM PDT by blam (Secure the border and enforce the law)
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To: vetvetdoug
"I know of several cases of disease contracted by Airmen that were just splashed by the water boating on the back bay. Giardia, Shigella, and Salmonella were common."

Shigella's a blast. There is nothing quite like the feeling of having the lining of your colon slough off.
34 posted on 07/18/2007 9:09:51 PM PDT by ndt
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To: blam

We actuallly were not planning on swimming in the Gulf at Galveston, just parked on the beach and watched the freighters and tankers passing by.

The people in East Texas were great but the land was awful. Once we were going parking and I started to pull off the highway onto a dirt road. It was wet and she immediately sain, no! Too late, my wheels sunk down in black mud so sticky and glue like that it took weeks to get it off my shoes. As luck would have it, we had only been parked a few seconds when a pickup truck with three teenage boys came by. They slammed on brakes and hooked a chain to the car and pulled us out. Always liked Texans and even better after that.


35 posted on 07/18/2007 9:37:09 PM PDT by yarddog
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To: yarddog
"Always liked Texans and even better after that."

They don't come any better.

36 posted on 07/18/2007 9:46:43 PM PDT by blam (Secure the border and enforce the law)
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I'll try again ...
37 posted on 07/19/2007 12:22:35 AM PDT by sushiman
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To: Revolting cat!

” Lookie here, raw meat on the scene and the sushiman shows up in a New York minute! “

Hehe...What’d you expect from a New Yorker ?


38 posted on 07/19/2007 12:25:50 AM PDT by sushiman
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To: kiriath_jearim
My brother-in-law Cajun Humorist Ralph Begnaud died from this several years ago after eating raw oysters.

Great guy, but his liver had been abused by years of 'partying'.

39 posted on 07/19/2007 7:13:00 AM PDT by TexasCajun
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To: AnnaZ

Well they couldn’t very well let the “Body of Christ” be infected with skin eating bacteria, could they? =)


40 posted on 07/19/2007 2:06:45 PM PDT by sam_paine (X .................................)
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To: kiriath_jearim

Vibrio vulnificus...

Hmmm, not the MRSA (Multiple antibiotic Resistant Staph aureus)
that is usually the star of the show in these sad cases.


41 posted on 07/19/2007 2:13:38 PM PDT by VOA
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To: yarddog
I grew up in Walton County, Fl (where the beaches have snow white sand and the water is clear blue/green), in the Panhandle. After seeing the brown water, there was no way I was going swimming at that Texas beach.

Yep. The silt from the mouth of the Mississippi tends tomake a mess out of swimming conditions in the western half of the Gulf. The outside beaches of the Mississippi barrier islands can be nice, but most everything inside that is better suited to fishing than swimming.

42 posted on 07/19/2007 2:16:15 PM PDT by Charles Martel (The Tree of Liberty thirsts.)
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