Beachgoer Leann Thibodeau had a pinhole-sized cut on her left foot, but as it had scabbed over she didn’t think anything of it as she headed into the water.
But a few days after her trip to Manasaota Beach, Florida, the same foot swelled up and turned red.
Unable to walk, Leann went to hospital where she was diagnosed with a group A Streptococcus infection, which is behind flesh-eating infections such as necrotizing fasciitis.
In severe cases it can cause loss of limbs and death.
After undergoing surgery and taking antibiotics, Leann wrote a Facebook post to warn others of the dangers.
She is now recovering from her ordeal.
‘[Beachgoers] need to be aware that there is bacteria in the water,’ she told WINK news.