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Man exposed to flesh-eating bacteria while crabbing

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CUMBERLAND COUNTY -

A man from Cumberland County is facing a decision of having his arms and legs amputated, or death.

The decision comes after Angel Perez, 60, was exposed to a flesh-eating bacteria while crabbing last week in the Maurice River.

Perez typically fished in the spot, but after this trip, he was complaining of pain.

He went to the doctor for antibiotics, but the swelling only got worse as the bacteria spread to his blood stream.

The bacteria is usually only a concern when you eat raw shellfish, but Perez says his immunity was already compromised because of Parkinson's disease.

"Typically when you get an infection like this, it enters through an existing wound and can spread throughout the blood stream and then cause other complications such as necrotizing fasciitis, which he unfortunately got," says Megan Sheppard, with the Cumberland County Department of Health.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says it only sees about 200 cases of the disease each year, nationally

Officials say the best way to avoid the bacteria is to avoid raw shellfish, and to only swim in water that is regularly tested.

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