Texas man bitten by shark being treated for flesh-eating bacteria infection

Blain Shelton, a 42-year-old Texas man was swimming around 200 yards off the shore of Boliver Island near Galveston on 9th of August when he encountered a shark. The shark attacked Shelton and severely mangled his leg. Shelton, a construction worker, managed to escape with his life with the injury. Now his wounds are infected with flesh-eating bacteria for which he is receiving treatment.

Blaine Shelton
Blaine Shelton's wound / shark bite

The doctors treating him speculate that his bite wound got infected with these bacteria due to exposure to the water. A break in the skin – even a scratch could let these bacteria in and cause severe infection, say experts.

After the accident, the wound in his lower thigh above the knee, seemed to be mending. Soon he started experiencing pain in the wound, said Shelton. He returned to the hospital and the doctors found that his skin seemed to be rotting away near the wound. He was started on another course of antibiotics and also treated with pain medication as he was finding is difficult to walk. He is expected to recover soon.

He has clocked up a total bill of over $100,000 however and since then has set up a GoFundMe page to help him cover part of the expenses.

Flesh eating bacterial infection or Necrotizing Fasciitis

According to the Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC), necrotizing fasciitis is a rare form of bacterial infection that can spread rapidly throughout the body and may become life threatening.

This form of infection usually occurs under the skin surface around the muscles, nerves, fat, and blood vessels. The entry point of the bacteria is usually through an injury which may be a large would or even a small cut or nick. It can spread fast and may cause loss of limbs or even death.

Bacteria that cause nectrotizing fasciitis include “Group A Streptococcus or group A strep, Bacterioides, Klebsiella, Clostridium, Escherichia coli or E. Coli, Staphylococcus aureus, Aeromonas hydrophila”, says the CDC page.



Dr. Ananya Mandal

Written by

Dr. Ananya Mandal

Dr. Ananya Mandal is a doctor by profession, lecturer by vocation and a medical writer by passion. She specialized in Clinical Pharmacology after her bachelor's (MBBS). For her, health communication is not just writing complicated reviews for professionals but making medical knowledge understandable and available to the general public as well.


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