A fourth victim of flesh-eating bacteria in Georgia lost his leg when doctors were forced to amputate it three weeks after he received a cut in a lake while trying to install a new dock.
The latest outbreak of the infection has left neighbors terrified to go in the water at Lake Sinclair, afraid they'll come down with the rare and serious disease, as well.
Meanwhile, Aimee Copeland, the 24-year-old graduate student whose battle with the bacteria first drew international attention to the horrific medical condition, sat up in bed for several hours.
Horrific: Paul Bales (right) has been fighting a flesh-eating bacteria infection for three weeks. Doctors amputated his leg on Wednesday
Family man: Mr Bales (bottom) was installing a new dock at Lake Sinclair when he accidentally cut himself
She continues to recover doctors were forced to amputate her leg, her foot and both her hands as the necrotizing fasciitis spread rapidly through her body.
Paul Bales, the latest victim, was standing in Lake Sinclair near Milledgeville, preparing to install an expansion onto his dock when he cut his leg in the water on May 1, WGXA-TV reports.
His son, Mike Bales, told the TV station his father didn't think much of the wound when it first happened.
'It was a very small cut. Matter of fact he just bandaged it up and then went and played golf for the next couple of days,' he said.
Outbreak: Four people have been infected with the horrific disease this month in Georgia. All infections have been as a result of cuts and wounds received in different parts of the state
Still critical: Aimee Copeland, 24, (left) remains in the hospital after her leg, foot and both hands were amputated. Lana Kuykendall, 36, (right) has just given birth to twins before she was afflicted by the disease
But, within four days the cut began to swell ass the infection set in. On May 5 Mr Bales went to his local hospital.
The next week he was transferred to Medical Center of Central Georgia, as doctors struggled to battle the aggressive disease.
Mr Bales terrifying ordeal, coupled with the other infection rates is beginning to cause panic in Georgia.
'Like, over the last three decades only about 200 cases nationwide. And then all of a sudden we've three or four in the last month,' Mike Bales told WGXA.
Mr Bales neighbors on the lake are keeping their kids out of the water for the Memorial Day holiday, terrified that the bacteria could enter their bloodstreams, too.
'People are scared they'll lose limbs. Everybody in town's scared to go out on the water,' Austin Hunter, one of Mr Bales' neighbors, told WGXA.
Miss Copeland, despite her heart-breaking amputations, continues to improve. She remains in critical condition at Doctors Hospital in Augusta.
Don't ignore it: Both Bobby Vaughn, 33, (left) and Mr Bales (right) waited to go to the hospital after being cut because they didn't believe their injuries were severe. Mr Vaughn lost two pounds of flesh from his groin
On Thursday, her father Andy revealed that his daughter sat up in bed for several hours on Tuesday.
'When the doctors put Aimee up in that chair, their expectations were to give her an hour,' he wrote on her Facebook page.
'Five hours later, Aimee decided it was time to lie down. Had she been running an Olympic marathon, I think Aimee would have experienced a record-breaking, gold-medal moment.'
Miss Copeland, at student at the University of West Georgia, was infected after she cut her leg when she fell from a homemade zip-line and splashed down into the Tallapoosa River near her home in Carrollton on May 1.
The second victim of the flesh-eating disease, Lana Kuykendall, 36, noticed the infection on the back of her leg just hours after being released from Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, where she gave birth to twins.
She has had seven surgeries to remove the infected flesh and remains in critical condition at Greenville Memorial Hospital in South Carolina, near her home.
The third victim, Bobby Vaughn, 33, has been upgraded to good condition after doctors removed two pounds of flesh from his groin.
He is recovering at Doctors Hospital, as well, after he cut his thigh while cutting weeds in Cartersville.
Despite the bizarre outbreak of the disease, Dr Mike Green, of Macon, said people shouldn't over-react and become paranoid about becoming infected. It remains very rare, he said.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2149366/Paul-Bales-fourth-Georgia-victim-eating-bacteria-leg-amputated.html#ixzz1voDSbVxV