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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A Robeson County man is dead after being exposed to a flesh eating bacteria while fishing near the state line.

Doctors say Charles Curtis Hardin, 56, of Fairmont, died last week after they amputated his leg in an attempt to save his life.

Hardin was fishing in Little River Inlet on the North Carolina-South Carolina line when he cut his leg and rinsed it with salt water, according to his cousin Matt Pittman.

Pittman says Hardin went to the hospital hours after his fishing trip. His doctor said when Hardin arrived at Southeastern Regional Medical Center in Lumberton on July 30, the bacteria Vibrio vulnificus was progressing aggressively.

“He was what we would describe as septic,” Dr. Obiefuna Okoye said. “He had low blood pressure, his kidney function had declined, and he had these big blisters on his legs.”

Eventually, Hardin lost his fight against the illness and died.

Experts say the flesh-eating bacteria could literally be anywhere. There’s no way to pinpoint its exact location, so people should take extra precautions if they cut themselves in the water.

“It’s not a reportable disease for the Department of Health,” said Dr. Bill Tynan with the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control. “There are really no public health interventions that we can employ to prevent this disease.”

Because the bacteria is hard to track, health officials in South Carolina, who monitor Little River Inlet, say the best line of defense is to make sure you clean all cuts thoroughly with soap and antiseptic. But they say there’s nothing they can do to get it out of the water.

Doctors say if you think you have been exposed to the bacteria, the sooner you get medical attention, the better. There is treatment for the bacteria, but the effects of germs may progress quickly.

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10 Comments on "Man dies after contracting flesh-eating bacteria in water near state line"

2015 years 9 months ago

How do they know that it came from the water?

Guest 10101
2015 years 9 months ago


Scientists have already determined quite some time ago that that’s where this stuff comes from. This is not a recent discovery.

(And by the way, the earth is round, not flat)

2015 years 9 months ago

Educated guess! Smithfield and other giant meat companies are dumping 89,000 pounds per second into fecal soup lagoons all over the country. Add to that antibiotics, placenta for stem cells, small dead animals (newborns crushed by mother pigs in pregnancy cages to small to turn around). These lagoons are perfect environment for development of antibiotic resistant pathogens.

2015 years 9 months ago

I wonder if this is what was eating that whale…article here today somewhere.

2015 years 9 months ago

I remember how nasty the Cape Fear river was after one of those hurricanes when it literally became one big hog lagoon sewage river. Terrible stench even though there’s a pretty good flow… it ain’t a tiny river. Lots of dead animals and fish and massive dump of nasty sewer water out of the Cape Fear. It must have been an unimaginable quantity to have been that strong a smell for days downriver from those lagoons. Just drive up past Chinqapin to see how numerous they really are. No tributary of the Cape Fear is unaffected by at least one adjacent hog farm. I hear they cleaned it up some though so that wouldn’t happen again, let’s hope.

2015 years 9 months ago

Hi going to Myrtle Beach on Friday for two weeks…I have a small cut on my foot…if I wear those water/beach shoes, will it protect my foot? Or can the bacteria still get in, since water gets in?

2015 years 9 months ago

You must not have any friends.

2015 years 9 months ago

to be safe I’d put some colloidal silver on any cut or scrape while visiting that area. What’s up with that whale they found on the beach?

2015 years 9 months ago

and its a water borne bacteria hence the names aeromanos hydrophilia
and it is in everything you eat and drink, not just brackish water
and pretty sure with my daughter contracting it and surviving it in gastro, even tho its been an extensive 20 months and her health is horrible(she still bleeds, enzymes all over the place, low blood pressure, kidney function low,6 goiters in her thyroid, pancreas function has almost stopped,has to cath now, edema bad in both legs, and the list goes on and on)
that from who and where we have been regarding this bacteria, its MOST DEF NOT THE PLANT SMITHFIELD.
this is the mack daddy to MRSA, mrsa is the baby in the family.

2015 years 9 months ago

..with all of this going on and ramping up along with other world disease events…humans may have very well hit k


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