Warning to parents about death of seventh child from strep A: Nadhim Zahawi urges parents to watch out for symptoms as tragedy strikes again
- A 12-year-old boy attending a London school was the latest victim of Strep A
- Four-year-old Camila Rose Burns is on a ventilator in Liverpool, fighting for her life
- Thousands of parents are considering taking their children out of school
- Parents are urged to contact NHS 111 or their GP if children with symptoms worsen, start to eat less or show signs of dehydration.
A seventh child has died from the winter Strep A virus, prompting the government to urge parents to be extra vigilant if their children fall ill.
A 12-year-old boy attending a school in London was the latest victim.
Cabinet Minister Nadhim Zahawi said yesterday that although most cases of strep A are mild, parents should be aware of the symptoms. “It’s really important to be vigilant because in the very rare case that it becomes serious then you need urgent treatment,” the Tory party chairman told Sky News’ Sophy Ridge on Sunday.
“It’s highly infectious, so the important message to get across is that parents need to be on the lookout for symptoms like fever, headache, rash.”
Fighting for her life: Four-year-old Camila Rose on a ventilator at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool
Heartbreaking: Camila Rose Burns, pictured with her father Dean, has been seriously ill
Muhammad Ibrahim Ali, who attended Oakridge School and Nursery in High Wycombe, Bucks, died after contracting the bacterial infection.
What is the right time to see a doctor?
Strep throat is different from a regular sore throat, and the pain can affect sufferers very quickly. Symptoms include pain when swallowing, fever, red and swollen tonsils, sometimes with white spots or streaks of pus, shortness of breath, and headaches.
The NHS recommends that people see their GP if their sore throat does not improve after a week, if their symptoms worry them, if they have a high temperature or feel hot and chilly. People with weakened immune systems, such as those undergoing chemotherapy, should also see a doctor.
The symptoms of scarlet fever are often similar to those of the flu and include high fever, sore throat, and swollen glands in the neck.
A rash appears 12 to 48 hours later, starting on the chest and stomach and then spreading.
The latest victim was reportedly an eighth-year pupil at Colfe’s School, a fee-paying school in Lewisham, south-east London. He is the first high school student to die in the current outbreak. Meanwhile, four-year-old Camila Rose Burns, from Bolton, who has been fighting for her life on a ventilator after contracting Strep A, remains at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool.
Last night his father, Dean Burns, said: “He is still in intensive care but is showing signs of improvement.” We continue to pray for his recovery. His body went into shock so his limbs have been severely damaged. it’s heartbreaking
Group A streptococcus bacteria usually cause only relatively minor illnesses such as skin infection, impetigo, scarlet fever, and sore throat. But in rare cases they can trigger a life-threatening disease called invasive group A strep disease.
Four-year-old Muhammad Ibrahim Ali, from High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, died last month after contracting strep A and then going into cardiac arrest.
Another of the children who died was a six-year-old girl, believed to be a girl, who was attending Ashford Church of England Primary School in Surrey.
Thousands of parents are considering pulling their children out of school as the disease spreads through classrooms.
The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) said it was up to local health protection teams to decide whether parents of children in schools where infections have been confirmed should be advised to keep them at home.
According to information published by the UKHSA, children with scarlet fever, where strep A causes a sandpaper-like rash, should stay home.
Health officials are urging parents to contact NHS 111 or their GP if children with symptoms worsen, start to eat less or show signs of dehydration.
Nadhim Zahawi said yesterday that although most cases of strep A were mild, parents should be aware of the symptoms.