Deer Park fisherman catches flesh-eating bacteria in East Bay

GALVESTON, Texas – A Deer Park fisherman appears to have contracted a case of flesh-eating bacteria while boating in the East Bay.

Last Friday Michael Cacciotti says he was in the East Bay cutting up fish when he sliced open part of his hand.

About 24 hours later, when he was back out on the water, his hand started swelling and something didn’t feel quite right. “I was just feeling weak, every bone in my body was aching,” Cacciotti said.

He came back to shore and paramedics took him to UTMB in Galveston, where he says doctors told him it looked like the problems with his hand were connected to the flesh-eating bacteria infection.

“They've been giving me nothing but antibiotics, pumping as much as they can into me,” Cacciotti said.

So far, in 2016, Galveston County has had three cases of people who contracted flesh-eating bacteria.

One case was food-borne, which, according to the CDC, is the most common way to get the infection.

The other two cases were wound infections.

Galveston County Health District officials say the bacteria that causes the infection is naturally present in salt and brackish water. If people have ever visited a beach anywhere, they've likely been exposed to the bacteria and likely did not have a negative reaction.

Millions and millions of Americans visit beaches every year without complications.

Cacciotti will remain in UTMB over the next couple of days.

He’s hoping to get back out in the water in September, but he has one cautionary message for his fellow fisherman.

“If you ever get a scrape, or any kind of cut, be careful, because this bacteria is out there,” Cacciotti said.