Georgia man gets flesh-eating infection after Panama City Beach trip

A Georgia man says he contracted a flesh-eating infection after a trip to Panama City Beach.

Tony Meredith and his wife Meredith told WDHN he developed flu-like symptoms about five days after returning from his trip. Medical professionals originally believed he had a kidney infection but later diagnosed him with necrotizing fasciitis, a flesh-eating condition that can be contracted by bacteria found in water.

Meredith believes he contracted the infection through a barely noticeable scratch below his knee. He is being treated and is expected to recover.

Last week, officials in Bay County, Florida said while beaches were open, people were advised to use caution before entering the water, particularly if they had breaks, cuts or sores in the skin. Cases of necrotizing fasciitis and severe infections from bacteria such as Vibrio vulnificus are rare, health officials said.

These infections can be treated with antibiotics and sometimes require surgery to remove damaged tissue. Rapid diagnosis is the key to effective treatment and recovery,” the health department said. “If you are health with a strong immune system, your chances of developing or having complications due to this condition are extremely low.”

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