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‘Like Something Out of a Horror Movie.’ Man Killed by Flesh-Eating Bacteria

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A 67-year-old man died four days after contracting a flesh-eating bacteria infection in a Maryland bay through a cut in his leg.

Michael Funk was washing crab pots in Ocean City when a strand of the Vibrio vulnificus bacteria infected him on Sept. 11, causing him to feel sick and seek attention at a local hospital. He was soon flown to a Baltimore shock trauma hospital where his leg was amputated and he died on Sept. 15, according to the Daily Times of Salisbury, Md.

“It’s like something out of a horror movie,” Marcia Funk, his wife, told the Daily Times. “I really feel they kept it quiet because it’s a tourist resort.”

She said doctors diagnosed his case of vibriosis immediately, but the infection moved too quickly to do anything. The flesh-eating bacteria had entered his bloodstream, causing ulcers and lesions throughout his body.

The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene is investigating the incident, though officials have not released a public advisory about the bacteria found in the Assawoman Bay. Vibrio vulnificus is very rare but can be found in warm, salty waters, the Washington Post reports.

[The Daily Times]

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Write to Julia Zorthian at julia.zorthian@time.com