A South Carolina grandmother has become the fifth victim of the flesh-eating bacteria that has sparked terror across Georgia.
Louise Thompson underwent emergency surgery to remove infected flesh from her leg and was in a coma for five days.
Until being diagnosed with necrotizing fasciitis she had never even heard of the bacteria, which attacks soft tissue and muscle.
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Victim number five: Louise Thompson is recovering after being in a coma for five days and having surgery on her leg
Recovery: On Friday Thompson stood up for the first time in months. She said she hopes the next step will be getting home
Thompson had gone to a Simpsonville doctor reporting a pain in her leg that she said felt ‘like pins sticking in my skin’ but no visible signs of infection.
She ended up in hospital undergoing surgery to remove ‘a place the size of a regular football’, myfoxcarolina.com reported.
Thompson is now recovering at the Roger C. Peace Rehabilitation Hospital in Greenville and on Friday stood up for the first time in months. She said she hopes the next step will be getting home.
'I won't ever ignore something that's sore anymore,' she told the news channel. ‘I just really thought that I wasn't going to live.'
Still critical: Aimee Copeland, 24, (left) remains in the hospital after her leg, foot and both hands were amputated. Lana Kuykendall, 36, (right) had just given birth to twins before she was afflicted by the disease
Victims: Paul Bales (left) and Bobby Vaughn (right) have both been struck down by the infection
Four other victims are recovering in hospitals after picking up the rare and serious disease in Georgia after picking up the bacteria from cuts and wounds.
Doctors say the cases are unrelated and that the bacteria is not contagious.
The aggressive disease first made headlines when it struck Aimee Copeland, a 24-year-old graduate student from Little Tallapoosa River, who cut her leg when she fell from a homemade zip-wire.
Doctors were forced to amputate her leg, her foot and both her hands as the necrotizing fasciitis spread rapidly through her body.
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.
Outbreak: Five people have been infected with the horrific disease in Georgia. All infections have been as a result of cuts and wounds received in different parts of the state
Insidious: This scanning electron microscopic image of WT Aeromonas hydrophila strain SSU, the bacteria responsible for the flesh-eating disease
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.
Bobby Vaughn, 33, was the third victim. He has been upgraded to good condition after doctors removed two pounds of flesh from his groin.
He became infected after he cut his thigh while cutting weeds in Cartersville.
Paul Bales of Lake Sinclair became victim number four after he cut his leg while installing a new dock at the lake on May 1.
It was a very small cut that didn’t stop the grandfather playing golf the next day but within four days the cut had swelled and he was forced to have his leg amputated.
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.
NECROTIZING FASCIITIS: WHAT CAUSES IT, AND WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2153739/FIFTH-victim-emergency-surgery-flesh-eating-bacteria-strikes-again.html#ixzz1wh4G2qf8