San Diego Woman Hospitalized After Contracting Flesh-Eating Bacteria

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A San Diego woman is on the road to recovery Wednesday, nearly two weeks after she was diagnosed with potentially deadly flesh-eating bacteria.

Noelle Guastucci's nightmare ordeal started on the Fourth of July holiday when her foot began to swell and developed a rash, KTLA sister station KSWB in San Diego reported Tuesday.

Within minutes, her toes were barely visible.

“The pain was so excruciating. On a scale from one to 10, it was an 11. It felt like someone had poured acid on my foot,” said Guastucci.

She was rushed to the emergency room at Kaiser Permanente, where doctors told her she had contracted necrotizing fasciitis — commonly known as flesh-eating disease.

She ended up losing most of the flesh around her ankle and her lower leg, but doctors told her it could've been worse.

“I was facing possible amputation. I was told if I had waited a few hours I possibly could’ve lost my life," Guastucci told KSWB.

Most people get the potentially lethal bacteria after being in the water, and it usually enters through small cuts or burns.

But in Guastucci’s case, she doesn’t know how she got it. She told the station she had not been in the water recently.

"I wasn't near water. I retraced my steps and it's still a mystery to the origin," Guastucci said.

After 12 days, she got the good news that the antibiotics she was given had apparently worked and the bacteria is no longer a threat.

She is expected to be discharged from the hospital within the next few days.

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