Fatal incidents involving flesh-eating bacteria are on the rise. The latest victim is a 66-year-old Tennessee man who contracted the bacteria in Florida.
William David Bennett died after his heart stopped twice 48 hours later. After her father's death, daughter Cheryl Bennett posted a detailed account of the horrifying story on Facebook, hoping to warn other vacationers about the dangerous bacteria.
Bennett and his wife were on holiday in Niceville, Florida to visit their daughter. After the 66-year-old had enjoyed a day at the beach, he was admitted to the hospital the next day. His symptoms included terrible pain, fever and a large red spot on his back. Doctors prescribed antibiotics but the wound became septic within the next hours. Bennett passed away on 7 July.
Posthumous tests concluded that Bennett had contracted the bacteria in the water.
The so-called flesh-eating bacteria can cause a deadly infection called necrotizing fasciitis. The more technical term is Vibrio vulnificus, or V. vulnificus. You can contract it in two ways: either by coming in contact with it in the water or by eating contaminated sea food.
Researchers suspect that the recent rise of flesh-eating bacteria-related incidents may be partly due to global warming. Until recently, infections have been associated with warmer beach destinations such as South Florida but this could change in the coming years.