Louisiana man contracts flesh-eating bacteria while crabbing near Lake Charles
CAMERON PARISH – A man was infected with flesh-eating bacteria after going crabbing near Lake Charles.
Jessie Abshire of Hackberry, La. was crabbing in what his wife said was only ankle-deep water for no more than two hours. Two days later, Abshire was in the ICU.
Dr. Stephen Castleberry with West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital says that this bacteria, Vibrio vulnificus, is showing up four to six weeks earlier than what he’s seen in past summers.
“What we worry about is anybody who is immunocompromised, so even just diabetes, mild liver disease when patients don’t know about it, and any break in the skin, even a several-day-old tattoo, a small cut that you may not even recognize beforehand,” Dr. Castleberry said.
“Anytime you’re in brackish water, gulf water, during these times of the month it doesn’t hurt to wash off after you leave the beach. If you have any type of fresh wound, don’t go in the water.”
Jessie is expected to recover after what his family calls a near-death experience.
Dr. Castleberry advises anyone planning to go to the beach, lake, or river this summer that if you’re ever in doubt, “go see somebody quick.”