MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) _ Former Gov. George C. Wallace was recovering quickly from a potentially life-threatening bacterial blood infection, hospital officials said Friday.

Wallace, 79, was still in critical condition and his vital signs were stable Friday, said Victoria Jones, spokeswoman for Jackson Hospital.

She said the four-term governor had shown ``marked improvement'' since being brought to the hospital by ambulance Thursday morning. He was suffering from septic shock and having difficulty breathing when he arrived.

Hospital officials were upbeat Friday about Wallace's condition, cutting back on the number of media briefings, but said he would remain hospitalized through the weekend.

It was the third time in four months that Wallace, who was paralyzed by a would-be assassin's bullet during a 1972 presidential run, has been hospitalized after suffering from respiratory problems.