AMARILLO, Texas – A Texas man continues to improve after losing his leg to a flesh-eating bacteria.
Now, fishermen and beach goers are on high alert.
Doug James is out of intensive care at a Corpus Christi hospital but is still being treated for his injuries.
“When he began to get so incoherent, I knew that something was terribly wrong. Had no idea what it was, could not imagine,”Nancy James, Doug’s wife,told KRIS-TV.
The bacteria is found in salt water. Once it enters the blood stream, it moves quickly.
Just hours after Doug scraped his knee, his cut was infected. The next morning, he was dizzy.
Just 36 hours later, he was critical condition and in the hospital’s intensive care unit. His heart stopped beating and doctors worked on him for 45 minutes to get a pulse.
In order to save his life, he had to lose his leg.
“The doctors told me that unless we amputated that leg below the knee, that’s where the source of infection was, that he didn’t have a chance at all,” said Nancy.
Health experts say it is important to be vigilant about the “vibrio” bacteria. However, they say the chances of getting an infection as the result of bacteria entering an open wound are slim.
So far this year, nine people in Texas have contracted vibrio through an open wound, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services.