A 68-year old man would not have known that a rare flesh-eating bacteria in the Brazoria County Beach is on the loose if not for the second attack that sent him back to the hospital where he had his first infection treated.
Woody Harvill of Lake Jackson is still in the hospital recuperating from the second bacterial attack he got from the same beach where he got the first one.
Attending physicians diagnosed Harvill as infected by rare flesh-eating bacteria referred to as Vibrio Vulnificus, not once but twice.
According to Harvill, the first bacterial attack infected his right hand while surf-fishing during the Memorial Day weekend at the Brazoria County Beach near Surfside and again on Wednesday infecting his left hand while fishing at the same beach — notwithstanding extreme caution he had.
“I finally took my bandages off two weeks ago, and I decided I’m gonna go fishing. And I was very careful. I didn’t get this wet. I had it sealed up and then I got it on the other hand,” the old man narrated.
Harvill, who was taken to the surgery room of the UTMB Galveston twice for the same surgical procedure, could not say how he got Vibrio, even as he claimed not to have an open cut or wound, for which people usually contract the bacteria.
According to the Galveston County Health Department, the bacteria which thrives in saltwater prey on individuals with pre-existing conditions. Based on the records, the GCHD said that they have only recorded two cases of the bacterial attack this year — one at Crystal Beach and another one that was found to be food-related.
“If somebody starts feeling discomfort and it starts to swell pretty rapidly, go get it checked out because it’s very aggressive and it will kill you,” added Harvill who said he just wanted people to be cautious.