Florida swimmer dies after contracting rare flesh-eating bacteria

PINE ISLAND, Fla. -- A Florida man recently died after he contracted a deadly bacteria while swimming in the Gulf of Mexico off the Florida coast earlier this month, according to his mother.

Cason Yeager, 26, died after he went swimming south of Pine Island, Karen Yeager Mercer said in an interview with WTSP.

Cason contracted Vibrio vulnificus, a flesh-destroying bacteria that is in the same family of organisms that cause cholera.

Yeager, who was diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder 10 years ago, died on June 16 but the death certificate was not signed until June 23. His mother now wants warn everyone about the dangers of the bacteria.

"This has been a nightmare for me, to say the least, and nobody should have to go through this," Karen Yeager said.

Yeager's death is Florida's fourth Vibrio vulnificus fatality this year, Florida Department of Health spokeswoman Mara Burger told ABC News. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 35 people died of the disease in 2014. The bacteria can enter the body through an open wound or a person can ingest it by consuming raw shellfish.

"I'm not telling anyone don't go into the water," Karen Yeager said. "Just do your due diligence and make sure that you're not going to harm yourself."

The family has created a GoFundMe page for the family to help pay for funeral costs.