Second man dies from bacteria from county beaches


A second man has died after contracting a flesh-eating bacteria after spending time in Matagorda beach waters. 

Gary Evans, 56, of Victoria died a week ago and his death comes in the aftermath of the death of Jerry Sebek, 78, after a fishing trip to Matagorda Bay waters.

According to reports, Evans’ family stated the 56-year-old man never even entered the waters on a vacation trip to Magnolia Beach on Matagorda Bay. Doctors treating Evans removed all of the affected tissue but the bacteria had already entered Evans’ bloodstream. 

According to hospital officials, there are more flesh-eating vibrio bacteria present in the water during warmer months of the year. Individuals with weakened immune systems usually contract it through open wounds. 

Sebek’s death came after a family fishing trip June 13 in Palacios. Officials believe Sebek contracted vibrio vulnificus through a cut on his arm or hand while fishing. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention does say symptoms of infections caused by bacteria like vibrio can be confusing.

According to the CDC, the infection often spreads very quickly. Early symptoms of necrotizing fasciitis can include:

A red or swollen area of skin that spreads quickly

Severe pain, including pain beyond the area of the skin that is red or swollen


Later symptoms of necrotizing fasciitis can include:

Ulcers, blisters, or black spots on the skin

Changes in the color of the skin

Pus or oozing from the infected area

The Centers for Disease Control says early detection is key to survival.

Recent reports from the General Land Office and posted on show current bacteria level to be high at Sargent Beach, Matagorda County Jetty Park #1, Matagorda County Jetty Park #3, Palacios Pavilion West and Palacios Pavilion East.

GLO deems an area high when bacteria counts are higher than 104cfu or MPN per 100ml. An advisory for these beaches are recommended at this time.

The Environmental Protection Agency’s recommended criterion for Enterococcus bacteria is 104 colony forming units or most probable number. When counts are above this level, swimming is not recommended.

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