Flesh-eating bacteria fatally infect Dallas man through new tattoo

A 31-year-old Dallas man died of septic shock after Vibrio vulnificus (flesh-eating) bacteria entered his body through a new tattoo while swimming in the Gulf of Mexico, according to a case study published in BMJ Case Reports.

The man suffered from chronic liver disease, making him more susceptible to infection. The tattoo, not yet healed, provided an avenue of infection for the bacteria. Three days after being exposed to the bacteria, the man was admitted to Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas with severe leg pain. After 18 days, the patient began rehabilitating, but his situation did not improve.

"Unfortunately, his clinical status subsequently deteriorated, ultimately leading to his death due to a myriad of complications related to cirrhosis, renal failure and necrotic skin lesions approximately two months after admission," Nicholas Hendren, MD, a physician at Dallas-based UT Southwestern Medical Center who helped treat the patient, told NBC 5.

To learn more about Vibrio bacteria, click here.

More articles on infection control: 
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Which disinfectants work best against C. diff? 
WHO updates guidance on antibiotic use for common infections

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