FIFTEEN children have now died from Strep A in Britain this winter
Fifteen children have now died from Strep A in Britain this winter as the killer bug outbreak rumbles on.
Victims include Stella-Lilly McCorkindale, a five-year-old girl from Northern Ireland, Hannah Roap, a ‘bubbly’ seven-year-old from Wales, and Muhammad Ibrahim Ali, a four-year-old boy from Buckinghamshire.
Strep A bacteria can cause a myriad of infections, including impetigo, scarlet fever and strep throat.
The vast majority of cases are mild. In extremely rare cases, however, the bacteria can trigger a life-threatening complication. Almost 170 children have been struck down already this season, health chiefs confirmed today.
Cases of iGAS, which occurs when the bacteria penetrate the blood, are unusually high for this time of year.
Outbreaks tend start to gather speed in the New Year, before peaking in the spring.
UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) data suggests five times as many infants have been struck down this winter, compared to before Covid.
Some 169 cases of iGAS in under-14s have already been recorded.
For comparison, 431 developed the complication during the entirety of 2017/18 — considered the last ‘bad’ year.
All the victims of Strep A so far
Muhammad Ibrahim Ali
The four-year-old boy attended Oakridge School and Nursery in High Wycombe, Bucks.
He died at home from a cardiac arrest in mid-November after contracting a Strep A infection.
He was prescribed antibiotics.
His mother Shabana Kousar told the Bucks Free Press: ‘The loss is great and nothing will replace that.
‘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.
Muhammad Ibrahim Ali, who attended Oakridge School and Nursery in High Wycombe, Bucks, died after contracting the bacterial infection
The ‘bubbly’ and ‘beautiful’ seven-year-old is the only child to have died from Strep A in Wales so far.
Her devastated parents told how their ‘hearts had broken into a million pieces’.
The first signs of the infection were mild, Hanna’s father Abul took his daughter to the GP after cough got worse overnight.
She was prescribed steroids and sent home, but she died less than 12 hours later.
Mr Roap recalled how he desperately tried to resuscitate his child: ‘She stopped breathing at 8pm but we were not immediately aware because she was sleeping.
‘I did CPR, I tried to revive her but it didn’t work. Paramedics arrived and continued the CPR but it was too late.’
Mr Roap said the family was ‘utterly devastated’ and awaiting answers from the hospital.
The family believe she might have lived if she was initially given antibiotics.
Hanna Roap, who attended Victoria Primary School in Penarth, Wales, died after contracting Strep A last month. Her family say they have been ‘traumatised’ by her death
Five-year-old Stella-Lily McCokindale is the ninth British child to have died following a Strep A infection, and the first in Northern Ireland.
She died on December 5 at Royal Belfast Hospital.
In a tribute on social media, her father Robert said the pair had ‘loved every minute’ of being together as they went on scooter and bike rides.
‘If prays, thoughts, feelings and love could of worked she would of walked out of that hospital holding her daddy’s hand,’ he said.
Stella attended Black Mountain Primary School, who said she was ‘a bright and talented little girl’ and described her death as a ‘tragic loss’.
Five-year-old Stella-Lily McCokindale who attended Black Mountain Primary School in Belfast died in early December after contracting Strep A
Four of the six other deaths include:
- An unidentified six-year-old pupil who attended Ashford Church of England Primary School in England in Surrey.
- A primary school pupil who attended St John’s School in Ealing, west London.
- A 12-year-old boy attending Colfe’s School in Lewisham, south east London.
- An unidentified child at Morelands Primary School in Waterlooville.
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