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The Vibrio vulnificus is seen in this handout from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. VOA

October 27, 2016: In a story that could come straight from a horror movie, an Arizona man has died four days after developing a flesh-eating bacteria infection.

According to DelmarvaNow, Michael Funk began to feel ill on Sept. 11 in his Ocean City, Maryland, condo. He had been cleaning crab pots.


After being transported to a local hospital, surgeons removed a portion of infected skin from his leg. He was later sent to a shock trauma hospital in Baltimore where his leg was amputated.

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“It was very fast moving,” his widow, Marcia Funk, told DelmarvaNow. “He was in so much pain.”

The amputation failed to arrest the spread of the bacteria and Funk died on September 15.

The bacteria in question is called Vibrio vulnificus, the same bacteria that infected 57 in Ocean City in 2013.

The bacteria thrives in warm, brackish water with low levels of salinity. It can also be found in raw or undercooked seafood. The bacteria reportedly infected Funk though cuts according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Roughly 80,000 people contract the virus annually, according to The Washington Post.

“The bacterium can invade the bloodstream, causing a severe and life-threatening illness with symptoms like fever, chills, decreased blood pressure (septic shock) and blistering skin lesions,” according to the Florida Department of Health’s vibriosis page. “Aggressive attention should be given to the wound site; for patients with wound infections, amputation of the infected limb is sometimes necessary.”

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Officials from the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene are investigating Funk’s death, but have yet to issue an advisory. (VOA)


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