A San Diego woman said she suffered a nightmarish flesh-eating bacterial infection on her foot over the Fourth of July weekend — but unlike several others who recently contracted the disease, she never even stepped into the water, according to a new report.
Noelle Guastucci, of the University Heights neighborhood, told FOX 5 San Diego Tuesday that her left foot suddenly began to swell and develop a rash. The swelling was so severe that in a matter of minutes, Guastucci’s toes were barely visible, she told the outlet.
“The pain was so excruciating,” Guastucci said. “On a scale from 1 to 10, it was an 11. It felt like someone had poured acid on my foot.”
Guastucci was rushed to the emergency room at Kaiser Permanente, where she was diagnosed with necrotizing fasciitis — the same disease that recently claimed the life of 56-year-old Gary Evans of Texas, who contracted the infection as he went crabbing that same weekend.
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“I was facing possible amputation,” Guastucci told the outlet. “I was told if I had waited a few hours, I possibly could’ve lost my life.”
People usually contract the bacteria after spending time in the water, where it enters through small cuts or burns. But Guastucci said she hadn’t been in the water recently — so how she became infected remains a mystery.
She spent 12 days in the hospital before she got word that antibiotics had worked and the bacteria were no longer a threat. She’s expected to be discharged in a few days, she told the local station.
Symptoms of necrotizing fasciitis include a red or swollen area of skin that spreads quickly, severe pain — even beyond the infected area of skin — and a fever, according to the CDC. About 700 to 1,200 cases of the disease have occurred each year in the US since 2010.
Other recent victims include Jonathan Metcalf, of Lancaster, Kentucky, who is still recovering nearly two months after he contracted the infection on a Memorial Day weekend trip with his family.
Ricky Rutherford, of Alabama, is fighting for his life after he became infected during a weekend kayaking trip.
And in a new interview, Patty Born, from Santa Rosa County, Florida, shared that she’s lucky to be alive after contracting the flesh-eating infection in 2015 while finding scallops in the water.
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