A 52-year-old man has contracted a severe bacterial infection known as necrotizing fasciitis after being bitten by a relative during a family gathering.

Donnie Adams, a resident of Riverview, Florida, initially noticed pain in his left thigh accompanied by a small raised bump. He attributed the mark to a previous incident a few days earlier when he intervened in a family altercation. Seeking medical attention, he received a tetanus shot and antibiotics, according to Tampa Bay Times.

However, his condition worsened significantly in the following days, prompting a return visit to the hospital. Adams could barely walk, and a substantial portion of the flesh in his leg between the knee and groin had begun to decay.

Adams was diagnosed with necrotizing fasciitis, a rapidly progressing infection that can destroy skin, fat and muscles.

Necrotizing fasciitis is primarily caused by various types of bacteria, most commonly group A Streptococcus, as indicated by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Although considered rare, the infection poses a significant danger due to its rapid spread within the body, potentially leading to death.

Commonly referred to as "flesh-eating disease," it enters the body through breaks in the skin. Prompt treatment involving the removal of dead tissue and administration of antibiotics is crucial in combating this potentially fatal condition.

During surgery, approximately 70% of the flesh in Adams' thigh had to be excised, with further removal necessary during a subsequent procedure. Though an extreme measure, the outcome could have been even more dire.

Adams shared with the Tampa Bay Times, "If I would've waited and waited until the next day after our second visit, there was a chance I would've lost my leg."

It remains unclear whether Adams' infection resulted directly from the bacteria transmitted through the bite or if it occurred subsequently. Generally, the condition is associated with cuts, scrapes and other wounds, and person-to-person transmission is rare.

Despite the scarring, Adams has made a good recovery and can walk normally again. He conveyed that the family members involved in the incident are deeply remorseful, according to the Tampa Bay Times.