San Diego surfer dies from staph infection possibly caused by storm bacteria

SAN DIEGO (KABC) -- A San Diego surfer died from a staph infection after ignoring warnings to steer clear of the ocean after a rainstorm.

Barry Ault, 71, lived for the ocean. So he and a couple of his friends went surfing the week before Christmas, and right after a rainstorm. The group did not heed warnings to stay out of the ocean for 72 hours to avoid storm runoff bacteria in the water.

After the surf trip, Ault and his friends got sick. His wife said he had horrible chills, shaking and flu-like symptoms. Not long after, he went into a coma.

Usually staph infections can be treated with antibiotics, but Ault had a new heart valve and the infection attacked his heart. Doctors were unable to save him.

A county health official believes the bacteria that caused Ault's death is different from the usual storm runoff bacteria, but he advises people to stay out of the ocean following a storm.

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