Shocking Shoreline! Man Faces Flesh-eating Bacteria After Beach Walk

Shocking Shoreline! Man Faces Flesh-eating Bacteria After Beach Walk

A South Carolina man is speaking out after coming into touch with flesh-eating bacteria while on his daily beach walk. Brent Norman tells WCIV that he grew up on beaches and has likely stepped on over 10,000 shells in his life.

He likes to walk at least 15,000 steps every day, so last week he began his usual trip on Sullivan’s Island and the Isle of Palms. “The way the tides were pretty high, I unfortunately stepped on several seashells,” stated Norman.

The next day, Norman experienced foot pain, but a few days later, the swelling became so severe that he could no longer walk. He described the anguish as if someone had driven a nail into his foot, and he eventually went to the emergency room to see a doctor.

“Everyone behind the check-in counter, their eyes were about double the size they normally were,” Norman stated. “I could tell people were uncomfortable sitting around me looking at it.”

The doctor quickly determined that Norman had vibriosis. He is not alone, as it causes “estimated 80,000 illnesses and 100 deaths in the United States every year,” according to the Centers for Disease Control.

The majority of these infections are acquired by eating shellfish, however, vibriosis can also be contracted if someone steps on a seashell.

The infection is caused by Vibrio, a bacteria that lives naturally in coastal waters and is more prevalent between May and October, according to the CDC. Vibrio is the bacteria that causes cholera, although it comes from a different strain from the one that causes vibriosis.

Norman said the process was quite simple after his disease was recognized.

“[The nurse] lanced it, removed the debris from in there, and then they gave me an antibiotic shot and then also pills that I’m taking for two weeks,” Norman recalled.

He also stated that he would return to the beach once his foot is completely healed.

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