TAMPA, Fla. (WCMH/CNN) — An Ohio man is speaking out after contracting a rare flesh-eating bacteria while visiting family in Florida.
Photos show Barry Briggs’ left foot swelling up as blisters took over.
“Once this thing took off, and it takes off quickly apparently, it was going one inch an hour up my leg,” said Briggs.
Briggs was visiting his brother-in-law in Florida. They went out on Weedon Island in the bay. His foot swelled up after the trip, but he was still able to fly home to Ohio before being rushed to the hospital.
Luckily, doctors were able to save his foot.
“I’m incredibly fortunate to have all my toes, to have my foot, to be alive,” said Briggs.
He was diagnosed with Strep A, necrotizing fasciitis. It usually enters the body through a small wound. It’s a rare infection that lives up to its nickname, eating away skin.
“It looked a little bit like raw meat,” said Briggs.
The Centers for Disease Control says there are 700 to 1200 cases per year in the US.