A 6-year-old girl in Ohio recently needed to have her leg amputated after she developed a rare complication from an infection with strep throat bacteria. But how does this relatively common type of bacteria cause such an extreme complication?
The girl, Tessa Puma, was treated for strep throat in early March, the Akron Beacon Journal reported. At that time, she didn't have symptoms of the illness, but the doctors treated her because she had tested positive for group A Streptococcus, the bacterium that causes strep, after her father had strep throat, the newspaper said.
Then, around March 25, she became sick with flu-like symptoms and had pain in her arm and leg; she told her parents that her skin was too painful to touch, according to the Akron Beacon Journal. At the hospital, doctors tested her for the flu, and the results were positive. But after performing additional tests, doctors diagnosed her with necrotizing fasciitis, or "flesh eating bacteria," a serious bacterial infection that destroys skin and muscle tissue.
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