GALVESTON COUNTY, Texas - Galveston County Health officials are warning beach-goers about a water-borne bacteria called Vibrio Vulnificus that’s common around this region, after a Katy man passed away recently.
Dr. Anthony Flores with UTHealth tells FOX 26, the infection rate is low but if the bacteria is able to get into your system, it can be deadly and it can spread rapidly.
"Individuals who get hospitalized with this type of infection, it can have a high mortality rate," said Dr. Flores. "Anywhere from 30% to 40%, which is pretty high."
57-year-old Daniel Murphy of Katy quickly passed away after contracting the bacteria at Crystal Beach over the Fourth of July weekend. His close friend, Matt Pace, tells us by that Thursday, his friend Dan was gone.
"You never know and this bacteria is by far the worst," said Pace. "I assume he contracted it either Saturday or Sunday and by Wednesday morning, they ended up amputating his leg."
Galveston County health officials say the best thing to do, if you have an open wound is to stay out of the water. Dr. Flores tells us, the most vulnerable are those with health issues, especially of the liver.
"There is a subset of individuals where this happens more quickly in and it tends to be older males, that’s probably because they’re more likely to have other problems, other medical problems," said Flores.
The health departments tells FOX 26, the water is tested at least once a week and signs are posted if there is a high concentration of bacteria in an area.