A five year old from Banbridge_(district)">Banbridge in NorthernIreland is currently in hospital after contracting Strep A, as clusters are now seeing a rise in infection cases. This comes after an eighth death of a child in England was confirmed on Monday evening, the same day a 12 year old from Lewisham had also died from Strep A complications.
The mother of the girl, Laura Rooney, discussed her daughter’s pneumonia that originated from a case of Strep A with UTV, telling reporters “she has been on five antibiotics in total and we’re still trying to find out what the source of this new rash is. It has really hit her hard."
Speaking about the speed in which the complications took hold of her daughter, Farah, Ms. Rooney said “Last week, it took a turn for the worst. I took it upon myself to put the child in the car and take her to hospital. It was there that they did an X-ray of her chest and discovered that she had pneumonia in her lungs as well. That’s what she was battling with."
Concerns for the unusually high numbers of Strep A during the winter season has led to some parents withdrawing their children from schools to avoid infection, a move that the Government has been quick to reassure parents about.
In a statement, Number 10 said they "fully understand" that parents are concerned by rising cases but stressed the NHS is "well prepared" for such situations and that they were not aware of any current shortage of the antibiotic amoxicillin, used to combat the bacterial infection.
Downing Street has stressed parents to remain vigilant during this time and to be on the lookout for developing symptoms, which include a persistent high fever, lethargy and a red rash that feels like sandpaper to touch. That final symptom is especially important as sometimes a rash may not appear on darker toned skin, so the “touch” test has become more vital during the outbreak.
What are the symptoms of Strep A to look out for?
- fever (a high temperature above 38°C (100.4°F).
- severe muscle aches.
- localised muscle tenderness.
- redness at the site of a wound.