Six children die from Strep A with more than 800 cases as health authorities issue warning to parents | The Sun

Six children have now died from Strep A with more than 800 cases recorded.

Five of those are under 10 years old, the UK Health Security Agency have said.

Meanwhile latest data from the UK Health Security Agency shows scarlet fever cases are continuing to rise.

Scarlet fever – of which there was 851 cases reported last week – is caused by Strep A.

There have so far been six recorded deaths caused by Strep A in the last seven days.

The first victim was just six-years-old and died last week in Surrey.

Within days, three others had died including in West London, Wales, and Buckinghamshire.

The fourth victim was Muhammad Ibrahim Ali, four, who died at his home according to his devastated family.

Muhammad attended Oakridge School and Nursery in High Wycombe in Bucks.

Muhammad's mum, Shabana Kousar, told Bucks Free Press: "The loss is great and nothing will replace that.

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"He was very helpful around the house and quite adventurous, he loved exploring and enjoyed the forest school, his best day was a Monday and said how Monday was the best day of the week.

"He also had a very close bond with his dad. He was his best friend and went everywhere with him. He just wanted to be with him."

Another child victim was little Hanna Roap, who died within 24 hours of becoming ill with the infection leaving behind her devastated family in Wales.

Hannas’ parents say their hearts have been “broken into a million pieces” by the tragedy.

Hanna passed away on November 25 after contracting the invasive infection that has symptoms including high fever, vomiting and a sore throat.

Earlier today, a youngster, who was a student at St John's School, Green Man Gardens, London, was also confirmed to have killed by invasive Strep A.

Another child from nearby North Ealing Primary School, Pitshanger Lane, is currently in hospital with an unconfirmed illness.

But many pupils at this child's school are off sick with scarlet fever, which is caused by Group A streptococcal bacteria, which can also cause invasive strep A.

While Group Strep A disease can trigger conditions like necrotising fasciitis and toxic shock syndrome.

The UK Health Security Agency said the two cases in Wales and Surrey were not related.

Strep A is a bacterial infection is mostly mild in cases but can be life-threatening and lead to scarlet fever.

The North West London Health Protection Team said to Ealing GPs in an email seen by MyLondon that a number of primary students were off school with several different viral infections, including scarlet fever.

As multiple viral infections are circulated in the winter months, the risk of scarlet fever having greater severity grows.

Hanna's death came after a six-year-old child in Year One at a school in Surrey was the first child to die after a Strep A outbreak earlier this week.

Two more cases of Group A streptococcal infection, also known as Strep A, were confirmed at a school close to the one attended by a six-year-old girl who died from the infection.

HIGH ALERT: Symptoms of invasive Strep A

Group A Streptococcus (GAS) – is also known as Streptococcus pyogenes – and is a bacteria that can cause mild illnesses like sore throats and skin infections, including tonsillitis cellulitis, impetigo and scarlet fever.

In rare cases, the bacteria can trigger the life-threatening illness, invasive Group Strep A disease.

Guidance from the NHS states that there are four key signs of invasive disease:

  1. fever (a high temperature above 38°C (100.4°F)
  2. severe muscle aches
  3. localised muscle tenderness
  4. redness at the site of a wound

Invasive disease happens when the bacteria break through the body's immune defences.

It can happen if you're already ill or have a weakened immune system.

Two of the most severe examples of invasive disease are necrotising fasciitis and toxic shock syndrome.

You're at increased risk of Group Strep A invasive disease if you:

  • are in close contact with someone who has the disease
  • are over the age of 65
  • are diabetic, have heart disease or cancer
  • have recently had chickenpox
  • have HIV
  • use some steroids or intravenous drugs, according to the NHS.

Group Strep A bacteria can also cause scarlet fever, which can be serious if it's not treated with antibiotics.

Dr Colin Brown, Deputy Director, UKHSA, said: “We are seeing a higher number of cases of Group A strep this year than usual.

"The bacteria usually causes a mild infection producing sore throats or scarlet fever that can be easily treated with antibiotics.

"In very rare circumstances, this bacteria can get into the bloodstream and cause serious illness – called invasive Group A strep (iGAS).

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"This is still uncommon however it is important that parents are on the lookout for symptoms and see a doctor as quickly as possible so that their child can be treated and we can stop the infection becoming serious.

"Make sure you talk to a health professional if your child is showing signs of deteriorating after a bout of scarlet fever, a sore throat, or a respiratory infection.”

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