A South Carolina woman is the fifth recent victim of the rare flesh-eating bacteria that leads to necrotizing fasciitis.
Louise Thompson is on the road to recovery after waking from a five-day coma. Doctors removed a football-sized chunk of flesh from her leg that was infected with the bacteria, according to Fox Carolina TV. She said she noticed a sore on her leg about two months ago. It became more painful, like a prickly pin feeling, until Thompson visited her doctor and was diagnosed with necrotizing fasciitis.
Necrotizing fasciitis initially made headlines in May when 24-year-old Georgia grad student Aimee Copeland became infected with the bacteria after slashing her leg in a zip-lining accident. The bacteria forced doctors to amputate her leg, other foot and hands. Copeland is still fighting to recover from the horrific infection.
Days later, 36-year-old Lana Kuykendall of South Carolina was diagnosed with necrotizing fasciitis. Kuykendall noticed a growing bruise on the back of her leg after returning home from the hospital following the birth of her twin daughters. She is slowly recovering after a series of surgeries.
The third recent victim of necrotizing fasciitis was Georgia landscaper Bobby Vaughn. Doctors removed two pounds of tissue during five surgeries in an effort to stop the bacteria from spreading.
Thompson is the fourth person in the southern part of the country and the second victim in South Carolina to contract the infection in recent months. The National Necrotizing Fasciitis Foundation says the single most important factors to preventing the infection are keeping skin in tact and cleaning and treating cuts with antibiotic ointment.