Holiday horror as mosquito bites in Egypt makes woman's breast rot
A woman who thought she had been bitten by a few mosquitoes on holiday returned from Egypt to find a terrifying flesh-eating bug rotting her skin.
Speaking to Sunday People, Natalie Thomason told of how her holiday to Cairo with her daughter turned into hell when she came back to the UK with a disease that could have killed her.
The 48-year-old rushed to see her GP when her mosquito bites got worse. She had two on her left breast and one on her upper arm.
She was shocked to be sent straight to hospital, where she was diagnosed with necrotising fasciitis, flesh-eating bacteria syndrome.
"It was eating my flesh and making it rot," Natalie told the Sunday People.
"Doctors warned me I could have to have my breast amputated. They told me if I'd waited just a few hours more before seeking medical help I could have died.
"The pain was indescribable. But most frightening was the speed the infection spread. One minute I was fine, the next I was in hospital fighting for my life. I really thought I was going to die. I couldn't believe I could become so ill from a few mozzie bites."
Natalie told how she swam in the sea to see if it would help relieve the bites, but it was then that they got worse.
The divorced mum-of-three told Sunday Peoplethat in just a few hours the lumps grew larger and turned black. Within an hour they were oozing and smelt like rotting flesh.
The lumps had to be cut and after five days of treatment, she was discharged but has been left with purple scars on her breast.
AOL Travel contacted the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine and Professor David Lalloo told us: "Whether an infection is related to sea exposure would depend upon the organism. Certainly necrotising fasciitis can be caused by organisms associated with seawater of freshwater but it is quite rare."
He added: "This sounds like a very rare event. In general there is a risk of infection with any open wound which is exposed to water, although it would be unusual with simple mosquito bites."
Natalie's story is one of many recent experiences involving Brits who get more than they bargained for on holiday.
In a particularly gruesome incident in May, a woman was told that a nest of tapeworms buried in her brain after a holiday in Madagascar.
And in March, a British woman almost died when she contracted a rare flesh-eating bug after being bitten by a spider during a holiday in Spain.
Sue Isaac, 58, from Essex, was bitten on the bottom when she sat on a sunbed at her friend's villa in Almeria.
She felt unwell within days and ended up in intensive care after surgeons operated to remove decaying flesh from her leg.
In January, an Australian couple were stranded in Bolivia when they became infected with a flesh-eating parasite that crawls out of the skin.
Ally Vagg and her boyfriend Bryan Williams returned from a "dream" trip to the Amazon basin when they noticed what they thought were mosquito bites.
But when they both started feeling things move under their skin and something occasionally poking its head out of the wounds, they found out they had human bot fly infection.
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