The child contracted the bacteria while swimming in West Ocean City.

A Maryland woman is sounding the alarm after her son was infected with a flesh-eating bacteria after a day at the beach with his grandparents. The boy was swimming in West Ocean City near the Route 50 bridge on Sunday, June 23, 2019. Later that evening, mom Brittany Carey noticed her son had small red spots all over his body. After several visits to the hospital, it was determined the boy had been infected with Vibrio bacteria.

Vibrio bacteria can be found in the natural waterways of Maryland in the summer months. It is most often found in brackish water, a mix of fresh and saltwater. The bacteria can enter the body through a cut or open sore and can also be ingested by eating contaminated seafood. The Maryland Department of the Environment has a list of guidelines to avoid contracting Vibrio:

  • Don’t go in the water if you have any cuts or scrapes.
  • Wear water boots or shoes to avoid cutting your feet in the water.
  • Wear gloves when fishing or working with crab pots.
  • Shower after swimming in coastal waters.
  • If you do cut yourself, immediately wash it with soap and water or hand sanitizer.

If a sore or cut develops any redness or unusual swelling, go to the doctor as soon as possible and let them know you may have been exposed to brackish water.

Fortunately, vibrio infections are pretty rare in Maryland. In October of 2016, a Maryland man died four days after he contracted a flesh-eating bacteria from cleaning crab pots.

Carey decided to share a picture of her son’s sores to get the word out about the dangers of flesh-eating bacteria. The post has been shared over 17,000 times. After doctors at Peninsula Regional Medical Center in Salisbury determined Carey’s son was infected by Vibrio, he was treated and is now out of the woods. 

Are you going to be more vigilant while swimming this summer? Leave a comment and let us know!