A Melbourne toddler came close to losing her leg after contracting a flesh-eating infection caused by Strep A.
Eden O’Meara was just 11 months old when she suffered from a bout of colds that lasted for about a month.
The child had a fever and was taken to hospital where she was diagnosed with the bacteria that was affecting her limb.
“We were obviously very scared because it was a very dangerous bug that got into her system quickly,” Eden’s mother Tania told 7 NEWS.
Luckily, doctors were able to save her leg, but the youngster’s right calf was scarred.
“It was a very precarious point in her life,” Tania said.
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According to the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute (MCRI), 750 million people are impacted by the disease, which kills more than 500,000 people around the world every year.
The illness can cause acute rheumatic fever, heart disease, kidney disease and toxic shock syndrome.
Young children, the elderly and pregnant women are susceptible to the bug.
Dr Josh Osowicki from MCRI told 7 NEWS the virus needs a vaccine.
The medical institute is trialling vaccines and new treatments. Part of the study involves deliberately infecting healthy adult volunteers with the germ in a controlled environment.
“We’ve kept the participants in an inpatient environment and we had really close clinical support and we’ve watched them really closely,” Dr Osowicki said.
“We hope the vaccine can stop other children going through what Eden went through.”