Parents warned to watch out for these Strep A symptoms after ninth child dies
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Parents are being urged to be vigilant over Strep A symptoms following the death of nine children in the UK.
The latest victim of the bacterial infection - which has been spreading across the nation in recent months - was a pupil from Morelands Primary School in Waterlooville, Hampshire.
With the increase in cases, parents are being urged to lookout for symptoms, which can include a sore throat, headache, and fever, along with a fine, pinkish or red body rash with a 'sandpapery feel'.
Simon Bryant, director of public health at Hampshire County Council, said they were 'working closely with the school to raise awareness amongst parents and carers of the signs and symptoms of Group A Streptococcal infections'.
He added: "I would stress that contracting (this) disease from another person is very rare.
"Most people who come into contact with Group A Streptococcal infections remain well and symptom-free - and therefore there is no reason for children to be kept home if well."
Over on the government website, parents are being urged to seek medical help if:
- your child is getting worse
- your child is feeding or eating much less than normal
- your child has had a dry nappy for 12 hours or more or shows other signs of dehydration
- your baby is under 3 months and has a temperature of 38°C, or is older than 3 months and has a temperature of 39°C or higher
- your baby feels hotter than usual when you touch their back or chest, or feels sweaty
- your child is very tired or irritable
They also advise calling 999 or going straight to A&E if your child is having difficulty breathing; there are pauses when your child breathes; your child’s skin, tongue or lips are blue or your child is floppy and will not wake up or stay awake. You can find more information here.
In May, nine-year-old Scarlotte Williams Taylor sadly passed away from invasive Group Strep A after a misdiagnosis of food poisoning.
“We thought Scarlotte was a one-off, like a fluke,” Scarlotte's mum, Catherine Williams, told i. “It makes me angry that it’s not being picked up.”
Scarlotte was suffering with a sore throat, headache, temperature, exhaustion, a mottled rash and sickness and diarrhoea.
“The doctor said food poisoning is worse on day three and four, so she’ll be on the mend, she’ll be feeling better shortly,” Scarlotte’s grandmother Debbie Williams said.
However, Scarlotte deteriorated and was rushed to A&E, but sadly passed away after going into septic shock.
Addressing the increase in cases, the prime minister's official spokesperson said: "We are seeing a higher number of cases of Group A strep this year compared to usual.
"The bacteria we know causes a mild infection which is easily treated with antibiotics and in rare circumstances it can get into the bloodstream and cause serious illness."