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Parents say five-year-old boy who died of Strep A was misdiagnosed as having flu

Poppy Bilderbeck

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| Last updated 

Parents say five-year-old boy who died of Strep A was misdiagnosed as having flu

Featured Image Credit: Family handout / PhotoStock-Israel / Alamy Stock Photo

A five-year-old boy's parents have spoken out claiming he was misdiagnosed prior to passing away as a result of strep A.

A total of 15 children in the UK have passed away from strep A infections since September, according to the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA).

One of those children was five-year-old Jax Albert Jefferys from Waterlooville, Hampshire.

Since Jax's passing on 1 December, the young boy's family have opened up about his alleged misdiagnosis.

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Jax Albert Jefferys sadly passed away at the age of five years old. Credit: Jefferys Family
Jax Albert Jefferys sadly passed away at the age of five years old. Credit: Jefferys Family

Jax's family claim they were initially told the five-year-old had the flu (influenza A) when they consulted with medical professionals three times in the four days prior to Jax's passing.

They said: "We then followed the recommended course of action: to administer a proprietary paracetamol-based medication in the prescribed dosage."

However, unfortunately, after four days, by 10:00pm on Thursday, 1 December, Jax was 'rushed [...] to hospital' because he had 'deteriorated so much'.

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The family said they were only told after Jax's passing he actually had strep A as opposed to influenza A.

Jax's parents claim he was misdiagnosed with the flu in the lead up to his passing. Credit: PhotoStock-Israel/ Alamy Stock Photo
Jax's parents claim he was misdiagnosed with the flu in the lead up to his passing. Credit: PhotoStock-Israel/ Alamy Stock Photo

Parents have since been urged to remind themselves of the symptoms of strep A, particularly as many cross over with symptoms of influenza A.

As per the NHS, symptoms of the flu (influenza A) are:

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  • fever* or feeling feverish/chills
  • cough
  • sore throat
  • runny or stuffy nose
  • muscle or body aches
  • headaches
  • fatigue (tiredness)
  • some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults.

While many people who contract strep A can remain symptom-less, common symptoms of strep A include:

  • flu-like symptoms, such as a high temperature, swollen glands or an aching body
  • sore throat (strep throat or tonsillitis)
  • a rash that feels rough, like sandpaper (scarlet fever)
  • scabs and sores (impetigo)
  • pain and swelling (cellulitis)
  • severe muscle aches
  • nausea and vomiting

If a child's lips, tongue or skin turns blue or grey, or they're having difficulty breathing, are 'floppy' or finding it difficult to stay awake, then you should take them immediately to your nearest hospital's A&E department or call 999.

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Jax's mum, Charlene, reflected: "[Jax] was just always mischievous. He had lots of friends - lots. And he was a mummy’s boy - he was spoiled. That’s who he was."

In a tribute to their 'darling son,' Jax's family stated: "We would dearly like to express our deepest thanks to all the hospital staff who did their utmost to save Jax.

"We sincerely ask that people respect our privacy at this time."

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If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence, contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677

Topics: News, Health, Parenting

Poppy Bilderbeck
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