Richmond man gets rare, flesh-eating bacteria from ocean

- (AP) -- A Richmond man has been recovering after contracting a rare, flesh-eating bacteria from the ocean in Virginia Beach.

WWBT-TV reports ( Charles Ballard Sr. was wading in the water while fishing with his son June 11 when he got tiny cuts on his feet from stepping on jagged rocks.

Three days later, Ballard noticed those cuts became open sores. He was taken to the hospital, where he was diagnosed with vibrio vulnificus, a potentially fatal flesh-eating bacteria.

Dr. Gonzalo Bearman, chair of the Division of Infectious Diseases at VCU Medical Center, says they only see about one or two vibrio cases a year.

The bacteria normally thrive in warm brackish water and are far more common along the Gulf Coast states.

Ballard has been undergoing hydrotherapy to treat his wounds.
Information from: WWBT-TV,

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