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Daniel Jones, 79, went fishing last week off the coast of Aransas Pass, local media reported. Jones had a cut on his hand and had gone into the water.
That night, Jones and his family noticed something was wrong.
"He noticed his hand was starting to hurt, so he went to bed," said Jones' daughter, Cindy Jones-Anderson. "About two o'clock in the morning it woke him up throbbing, and his hand had swollen (to) twice the size."
Jones went to a hospital where he was diagnosed with a Vibrio infection. Vibrio is a bacteria that lives in certain coastal waters in warm temperatures, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Vibrio can cause a skin infection, as well as cramping, nausea, vomiting, fever and chills.
Dr. Michael Wetz with Texas A&M Corpus Christi's Harte Research Institute told KRIS-TV that people shouldn't be afraid to take a swim at the coast.
"Generally, the water is safe for most people," Wetz said. "There's this handful of people that are more susceptible, it seems like, to these Vibrio infections."
Anyone with an open wound should clean it immediately after swimming, Wetz told KZTV-TV.
Daniel Jones' wife, Marilyn, has stayed with him since he's been hospitalized. She said her husband has already had three surgeries and will need plastic surgery on his hand.