What to Know
- According to news reports, the man became ill after returning from vacation in Destin Beach where he was visiting family for July 4th
A Tennessee man died this week after being infected with a flesh-eating bacteria during a trip to a Florida beach.
Cheryl Wiygul, the man’s daughter, said he contracted the flesh-eating bacteria at a beach in Destin, a city in northwest Florida. He died 48 hours later.
Wiygul said the family discovered that a large sore had developed on her dad's back once they had returned home, along with red bumps on his arms and legs. The man died on July 7, just two days after the Fourth of July trip.
Wiygul’s father had been battling cancer, which weakened his immune system, and frequented beaches. The family did not see any risk at his swimming.
Wiygul detailed the events on Facebook on July 10.
Her family and she visited many bays and beaches throughout the weekend, where her father seemed fine. On Saturday, 12 hours after he was in the water, he woke up with a fever, chills and cramps.
On the way home, her father’s condition worsened. He developed severe leg pain and was admitted to Baptist Hospital in Memphis, Tenn., where her father lived.
Doctors discovered he had developed an inflamed ulcer in his back, according to Wiygul.
Wiygul’s father’s condition deteriorated and he was transferred to the ICU.
“By Sunday afternoon, he was already dead. Less than 48 hours after leaving the beach, feeling fine, the bacteria destroyed him,” Wiygul wrote.
The family received their father’s test results which confirmed that he had Necrotizing fasciitis, a flesh-eating bacteria.
Flesh-eating bacteria has been present along the Florida coast in the past month. At least four cases of Nectotizing fasciitis have been reported, including a 12-year old girl from Ohio who contracted the bacteria at a Panhandle beach.