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ANOTHER GRAND ILSE VIBRIO VICTIM

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My cousin from Kentwood is now fighting for his life at North Oaks Hospital because of a vibrio infection. He spent last weekend at Grand Isle fishing and crabbing, something he loves to do at the Isle. But along with the fish and crabs he returned home to enjoy he also returned with vibrio. He started noticing a itching sensation on his right foot Monday night and by Tuesday at 4 am he was admitted to the ER. Within 12 hours his lower leg had turned from a reddish color to solid black. When I saw his leg at noon Tuesday it looked horrible and I was shocked. Wednesday night he was rushed to surgery for tissue removal and a possible amputation of the leg below the knee. While in surgery his heart stopped and they eventually got him back. He did not lose his leg but yet to be determined. At the present time he is doing better but it is far from over. We all pray that he will beat this infection.
I have been a fisherman for over five decades and have always fished the southeast part of the state. I have seen and read past reports about vibrio infection but never really paid it much attention. Now because it has hit close to home 'I HAVE SEEN THE LIGHT'. All future fishing trips in my boat will include any necessary items to prevent vibrio infection. Anyone who fishes needs to open their eyes and be better prepared and educated about this infection. It is NOT something to ignore.
I don't wade fish any more and I sure would not do it at Grand Isle without extra precautions. I don't want to start a firestorm from posters but something has changed at the Isle with four of the six cases reported this year. I believe it's time for some investigation.
At this point all the family hopes for is a full recovery of their love one and a return to normalcy.
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   gatsby
First of all, I hope and pray that he will be alright. I just made made plans for my 12 yr old and I to camp out on the state park in Grand Isle but have changed my mind now. When I was 15 I spent 3 weeks out there in a tent and caught more trout than I can count surf fishing, but I don't think it is worth the risk now. We will pray for him tonight. Good luck
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Just curious, do you know if he had any sort of open wound? Was he cut or stuck during his crabbing and fishing? Really curious, we spend a lot of time there. Thanks
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I personally know four people that contracted it over the years. None of them got it from Grand Isle. Yes, there are some cases from there, but I don't think it's a direct reflection on anything there except that it's a popular wade fishing/crabbing area and the odds are that more folks are in direct contact with the water than other areas. One friend got it out of state.

The key seems to be hot temperatures where the virus can thrive and some open wound or cut.
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My thoughts exactly. More people wade fish and crab and swim at grand isle than any other part of the state by a long shot.

Yes it is a problem, but it is not JUST a Grand Isle problem.
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Most cases I've seen or heard of don't come from open wounds.The virus likes to get in through hair follicles that are either ingrown or inflamed.
Ingrown nails that are infected as well.
Real scary stuff.
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   MEV
First we all thank everyone for their prayers and concern. Late last night they were able to remove the breathing tubes and we were able to talk to him. At this point he his moving forward and doing better. He is a strong guy and whatever the circumstances he will adapt and survive.

Yes he did have open wound from work boots that rubbed a spot above the ankle and was probably the entry point. I talked with other family members who were with him at the Isle last weekend and they were aware of the vibrio possibility. Because some of the family are nurses they did prepare and bring plenty of anti bacterial soaps to wash down with after coming ouit of the water. But my cousin was not quite as diligent about that procedure which may have put him at a higher risk. This is what I hope to pass on to other fishermen. Preparation and prevention is your best defense against vibrio.

I realize that because Grand Isle is the only easy beach area for people to access to fish and crab this will increase chances for any vibrio contact. Please don't change plans and not go to enjoy what we have now because it may not be their much longer with all of the erosion issues. Just be prepared and get educated about this flesh eating bacteria.

Last night my cousin told me that we would be fishing more from my boat. I told him that I can make that happen. Or course we will still be prepared for vibrio.

He plans to return to the Isle to enjoy what it has to offer!
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   VetYaker
Sorry to hear about this unfortunate occurrence. i have seen several post about vibrio this summer, all should check out the CDC web page for information regarding the subject.
http://www.cdc.gov/nczved/divisions/dfbmd/diseases/vibriov/
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   Squid Row
Ditto on Chris Holmes comment. I have over the past several years read articles where people have contracted the Vibrio along the coast of other states. Most have been more inside marsh areas where the water is very warm and stagnant. It also has to do with the person too. It seems the elderly are more vulnerable along with people with a low immune system for what ever reason that may be. I keep on hand an antibacterial hand wash along with a spray bottle of water and bleach solution. I am very mindful about any cuts or open wounds I may have.
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I was infected by bacteria in Fourchon--I had been bitten by several deer flies and got in water to straighten boat on my trailer--leg swole up and resulted in surgery with 5 weeks in hospital currently been home for 2 weeks with wound vac in leg----not gonna give up the water but when I get back i'll be more aware and think everyone needs to know the situation--Gary Veillon
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   Tyhibbs8
Chris is exactly right. Vibro thrives in warm saltwater. It can be contracted anywhere along the gulf coast in the summer. Not just in grand isle.

Clean and cover wounds and cuts before you go in the water, and clean your entire body well after and continue to clean wounds and cuts. Not just that one day.
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Glad to hear your cousin is doing better,I hope he makes a full recovery, I'm also happy Marsh Monkey survived it completely healed. Wish the same for your cousin.
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   gaseous
Glad your cousin is doing better. Hope everything turns out fine for him. I agree with other posts, this is not just a Grand Isle thing. Vibrio can be in any saltwater environment. Warm, stagnant water is a big culprit. My thought is that stagnant water is a bigger factor than the warm water. With no fresh influx of fresh water it gives the bacteria time to accumulate in a certain area.
I also have been told that spraying a cut that was incurred in saltwater with 50% Clorox is more effective than antibacterial hand cleanser products. Always have a spray bottle of diluted Clorox in your boat or have access to some nearby is highly recommended
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   MEV
He is doing better every day but his kidneys are still not functioning. The doctors are positive and tell us this will happen. The good news was they don't believe any more tissue removal will be needed and next week a plastic surgeon will talk to the family about this next phase. He is in very good spirits. We talk about fishing when he gets back to normal, just in time for some great fall fishing. Then it will be some duck and deer hunting.
Thanks again for all of the support.
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I wonder about that virus. I spent last weekend on the Island with my 4 children and wife doing some crabbing. I ended up with a gash in my left hand and the thought of an infection was on my mind. I cleaned it with alcohol and soap when we returned to the room that evening. Nothing ever happened. I am 38 and in good health (other than just being tired from chasing around 4 kids all day).

What is the general health and condition of the man who contracted this terrible bacteria?

I hope for a 100% recovery for him.

Also, has there been any cases of thin in children?
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   MEV
If you notice any discomfort or your hand feels like you have a sprain or you notice swelling or redness get your butt to an ER and tell them you were in the water. When the ER doctor for my cousin was told he just came back from Grand Isle, he ran like hell and started him on antibiotics. The culture sent to the CDC came back two days later as positive. If the ER doctor would have waited to start antibiotics he would have been dead. He is 62,smokes and drinks but generally in good health.
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i will be praying for you, him, and your family. i hope that we all take precautions against this nasty infection. we have enough trouble already.....
Will
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Sorry to hear about another case. I wrote the article on Rick Garey from Gonzales that appeared on the website in July.

Dr. Mary Eschete, an infectious disease specialist in Terrebonne Parish, recommends thoroughly washing up and rinsing off with clean bottled water, especially if you notice any cuts or scrapes while fishing, boating, crabbing, etc. It's usually available in the ice chest - she said to make sure you didn't rinse off the wound in the salt water. (While that seems like the intuitive thing to do, it could make things worse.)

She indicated that studies had not proven any type of bleach solution was more effective than regular bottled water, plus the possibility exists of burning yourself if the bleach is too concentrated.

But everyone is right: being diligent is key. If a cut or scrape begins to swell or turn bright red after you've been in or around salt water, or if something 'doesn't feel right,' don't hesitate to go to the ER immediately. Make sure they know you've been in a saltwater environment, especially if you've traveled back home away from the coast and the doctor may not be as familiar with vibrio infections...

Good luck!
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   bownut
I am sorry to hear about your cousin ,hope he makes a full recovery.We will keep him in or prayers.I feel what is happening is the good lord is punishing the people of grand isle for being so greedy and taking advanage of the many working class people who take their family to enjoy themselves without it costing them their life savings.I t is a shame that it is that way.
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   TBOY
Really Bownut?! The post clearly states the gentleman with the virus is from Kentwood. Pretty far piece from Grand Isle. So how does that work with your God theory?

To MEV, praying for you and your loved ones.
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   bownut
I was not refering to him or anyone else that visits grand isle ,sorry if you misunderstood the point i was trying to get across .I am on your side.
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   huntnut
I say bownut really is a nut. Sorry, that one was just too easy.
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   maisweh
yes, im sure god is punishing grand isle and sending a plague of vibrio because people think their prices are too high.... smh
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   rhall301
Bownut....To follow your theory, vibrio must be abundant at any Saints or Hornets game.
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   Lordbud7
Its REALLY HARD to write this post without profanity right now after reading your babble. You mean to honestly tell me GOD has sent Vibro around Grand Isle because their prices are too high? So hard working people who bring their kids down there can contract it and possibly lose a limb or worse even death? You sir are one of a kind!! The kind that should find himself between someones crosshairs!!
You sound like you should belong to the Westboro Baptist Church!
To the OP Thank you for the update on your family member. I put a warning up on my Facebook Charter page that there is was another confirmed case. I hope that things turn out well and he makes a speedy recovery!
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   Curdog007
Can't believe the health dept or some other gov't agency isn't involved here. Are there any warning signs posted? Anybody doing any studies?
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Vibrio is a bacteria not a virus, here is a link from the CDC for further information. Best wishes for a speedy recovery to your cousin.
http://www.cdc.gov/nczved/divisions/dfbmd/diseases/vibriov/
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   CaptJS
I rememer when they use to post the Lake when they tested the water do they test at GI> Think about this they have over 200M people come to GI over the summer and less than 10 have this problem. Don't know anything about this problem but seems like a few people have problem but most don't. Saw a guy on TV get bit by Alegator in his head and he did not go to the dotor then I heard about a women that died from a bite in Florida. Maybe a vist to the doctor to see if you would have a problem would be a good idea.
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   bownut
Seems i struck a nerve with you .I guess your mind is to shallow to see the big picture.by the way you would most likely miss if i was standing right in front of you.
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   maisweh
The big picture of God sending a plague of vibrio? did god send katrina too? what about the oyster fishermen who catch vibrio? or the people who dont catch it in grand isle? is that part of gods grand isle plague?

wait, is god going to send a plague of vibro to disney world also?
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   MEV
Last night he was moved from ICU but it is far from over. The kidneys are still not doing their job, which requires dialysis. The doctors still give us hope for a full recovery. He is scheduled today for his first phase of plastic surgery. The surgeon believes three to four surgeries will be needed. Then physical therapy is next to help get him up and moving. Hopefully he will be released in a week or so.
He is still in good spirits and WILL return to Grand Isle. I am sure he will practice prevention a little more next time. We all need to!!
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Thanks for the update MEV. Praying he continues his progress.

None of us ever think things like this will happenn to us. Do what you need to prepare for the worst while always hoping for the best. Vibrio is nothing to play with. Get immediate medical attention the moment you notice something out of the ordinary.
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   surfking
I got the vibrio back in 2011 after fishing Elmers. The University of Auburn did an extensive study in 2011 on the beaches in Grand Isle. They found that the tar balls buried in the sand contain 100 times the normal amount of vibrio that one can expect to find in normal conditions. The thinking is that the virus eats the oil because its organic. The outbreak last month just happen to coincide with the work that was being done on the Fouchon beach. Crews have been digging and sifting the sand in that area all summer. (don\\\\\\\'t know if its still going on). In late June and early July there were persistent strong west winds that may have caused the Grand Isle out break. I know the vibrio was here before the spill but it seems to be getting much worse. If you have been infected by the vibrio you may want to contact your lawyer. Smith Stag in New Orleans is also handling these cases as well. I hope all get well soon. It\\\\\\\'s a very serious infection that may remain in your body for a long time and can re-occur. I was told I had a 50-50 chance of death. Surf fishing has been a very big part of my life but I will fish out of the boat until the coast clears.
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   rocknet
This entire vibrio deal is just plain scary. To think you go into the water to fish or crab and then hours later your life and limbs are in danger. Yes, this bacteria has always been in the environment, but I believe it was so minimal and rare, it just wasn't an issue. I've talked to numerous really old timers from Leeville, Grand Isle, and Caminada who have told me they had never heard of anything like this their entire lives until the last 30-40 years. These people shrimped, crabbed, swam, basically lived in the water for generations. I believe human activity is the reason. Look at how developed the West Bank, Belle Chase, St. Charles parish, Lafourche parish have all exploded around the Barataria Basin since the 60's. We pump millions upon millions of treated and untreated sewage into this system every day. When you flush your toilet, where does this go??? It goes into a treatment plant, and then is pumped out into canals that flow into the Basin, and all this has to go to the Gulf to get out eventually. This is not too mention the runoff when it rains from all the organic stuff modern society uses outside. Bacteria and stuff like sewage goes hand and hand. Also, the study with the tarballs is logical. The population around this Basin is huge
and would equate to the largest city in the state by far. Once man really populates an area, it never improves, it only degrades.
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   MEV
Thanks for all the support and prayers. Please guys don't get your feathers ruffled and start a online battle. Some of the post talk about what appears to be a increase in the number of vibrio victims. Maybe there is a valid reason or maybe it is because of the internet and social media available to everyone now. I realize that Grand Isle has a greater potential risk for more cases because this is where most people can enjoy the beach to swim, fish or crab. Still maybe the number of cases this year would justify some investigation.
Presently my cousin is still in the hospital fighting kidney problems and blood pressure issues caused by the septic shock. The first phase of plastic surgery is doing great and shows some tissue growth already. If no other problems arise he may be transferred to a long term care facility for further treatment and physical therapy. The doctors feel he will be finished with all the necessary operations and treatments by the end of the year. We are all optimistic that he will beat the kidney issue and return to a normal life.
PLEASE, anyone who thinks they may have a chance to get this infection take precautions. If you notice any pain or swelling, get to a ER immediately.
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