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Texas Man Passes Away After Swimming in the Gulf with a New Tattoo

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After getting a new tattoo, people are often eager to show them to the world and resume life as usual, but it can have dire consequences. ABC 13 reports that an unidentified Texas man swam in the Gulf of Mexico five days after getting a tattoo of a cross with the words “Jesus is my life” underneath it. The man had a chronic liver disease, so he was unable to fight an infection he got after swimming in the Gulf’s water. Only 24-hours after the swim, he was in the hospital on life support where he went into “septic shock and died about two months later.”

Even though the man’s tragic story was worsened by his liver disease, anyone can contract the Vibrio vulnificus bacteria via a new tattoo while swimming. The CDC says, “Certain Vibrio species can cause a skin infection when an open wound is exposed to brackish or salt water…Most people with a mild case of vibriosis recover after about 3 days with no lasting effects. However, people with a V. vulnificus infection can get seriously ill and need intensive care or limb amputation. About a quarter of people with this type of infection die, sometimes within a day or two of becoming ill.”

Authority Tattoo recommends waiting at least three weeks before swimming with a new tattoo. Also, don’t mistake chlorinated water as a safe alternative. The chlorine can make newly inked skin dry up and flake and lead to loss of coloration.