New Jersey crabber could lose 'life or limbs' after bacterial infection

Angel Perez 60 contracted the disease while crabbing in a New Jersey river according to his daughter

A New Jersey man may be forced to choose between "life or limbs" after contracting a flesh-eating bacteria while fishing for crabs in the Maurice River. Angel Perez, 60, reportedly complained of swelling and growing pain in his right leg after coming home on July 2.

Perez, of Millville, contracted Vibrio necrotizing fasciitis, a rare bacterial infection, and is in critical condition at Cooper University Hospital, New Jersey Advance Media reported.

"It can be unsafe and we don't know what we're getting into when we get in there", Perez-Dilan told WPVI.

VNF is referred to as a flesh-eating bacteria because the infection results in tissue damage and death.

Perez had to have a leg surgically drained as an infectious disease doctor investigated the cause of the infection.

The bacteria can also be spread through eating raw shellfish. But if the antibiotics don't start working soon, doctors say they will have to amputate at least three limbs.

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His fingers and toes began turning dark brown and black, sores or blisters appeared on all his limbs.

Four out of five of infections happen between May and October, the CDC says, and the bacteria is more likely to infect those with a "compromised immune system". The Perez family is hoping for the best, but right now living day-by-day.

The disease kills about 100 people in the country each year and sickens another 80,000, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "You can see it spreading from his feet all the way above his kneecap".

State and county officials have acknowledged that Vibrio bacteria "is not uncommon for the waters" but can not do much aside from advising people to stay out of brackish water, according to NJ Advance Media.

"We've all been praying and I think our spirituality, our religion, has been allowing us to get through without going into a chaotic mess", said Perez-Dilan.

Perez-Dilan said her father is not breathing well but on his own and is only able to slightly move his right arm - yet is in good spirits. "He's just happy to have a second chance".

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