An Adelaide baby is lucky to be alive after he was struck down with meningococcal disease.
The parents of six-month-old Oliver have recalled how the early detection of the disease helped potentially save their son’s life.
“It was just so scary,” mother Jessica Sanders told Nine News.
The disease quickly took control of Oliver’s body, with a severe rash breaking out over his body in just 15 minutes.
With Oliver not his usual self, his parents weren’t taking any chances and rushed him to hospital.
It was that decision doctors say was key to his survival.
"If it was an extra 15 to 20 minutes the other way, he could have ended up with loss of limbs or you know, possibly death," father Errin Wasley-Black said.
Oliver was diagnosed with Meningococcal B. His parents were left with an anxious wait at his bedside as his body battled against the disease.
Thankfully, their baby boy pulled through.
Born in the Northern Territory, Oliver wasn’t eligible for SA’s free Meningococcal B vaccination.
The parents are now urging all South Australians to take advantage of the program.
Health officials are concerned with the response to the program’s introduction, which removed charges of up to $500 for the jab.
Communicable disease control director Louise Flood said it was disappointing that up to one-third of South Australia's children and young adults are missing out on protection from the deadly B strain meningococcal disease.
“South Australia is the first state in Australia to offer free vaccination against the potentially deadly meningococcal B disease, and we are urging parents and eligible young adults to talk to their GP or immunisation provider to have their children or themselves vaccinated," Dr Flood said last month.
Oliver became the 18th child diagnosed with Meningococcal B this year in South Australia.
Do you have a story tip? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.