Man dies after contracting deadly bacteria in Estero Bay

Published: Updated:

FORT MYERS, Fla.- A Polk County man has died from a deadly bacterial infection he got while fishing in Southwest Florida.

Family says 56-year-old Richard Corley caught Vibrio vulnificus on a fishing trip in Estero Bay.

The bacteria is found in warm salt water and can be deadly if it gets into cuts and scrapes. State health officials report 37 confirmed cases of Vibrio vulnificus this year, Corley is the 12th person to have died after contracting the bacteria.

“Started going up to his groin, on his stomach, his back, and it was moving quickly and they had to induce him into a coma.,” said Brian Corley, the victim’s brother.

“That can enter the body either through eating raw or under cooked shellfish, especially oysters, or if you have an open wound and you enter into warm or brackish seawater,” said¬†Scott Sjoblom, with the Department of Health.

Left untreated, the bacteria can cause an infection that breaks down the flesh. Anyone can get infected but typically, people who have a weakened immune system have a harder time fighting the infection. Exposures to the bacteria occur more commonly during the summer months.

Copyright ©2024 Fort Myers Broadcasting. All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without prior written consent.