Mother, 22, whose daughter was struck down by Strep A warns parents

Mother, 22, whose five-year-old daughter was struck down by Strep A urges parents to take their children to hospital if they are worried

  • Tanya Dawson, 22, was left heartbroken after watching Lyra, five, fight the bug 
  • At least nine children in the UK have died after contracting Strep A this winter
  • Antibiotics can be given to groups of children where there is a Strep A outbreak 

A mother has warned parents to take their children to the hospital if they are ill as they could be battling the deadly Strep A disease.

Tanya Dawson, 22, was left heartbroken after watching her five-year-old daughter Lyra battle the serious illness.

The little girl first started showing symptoms on Saturday although her mother believed it was a normal cold at first and didn’t think much of it.

At least nine children across the UK have been killed by Strep A, the most recent was Stella-Lilly McCorkindale from Belfast. 

Tanya Dawson, 22, was left heartbroken after watching her five-year-old daughter Lyra battle Strep A

Lyra first started showing symptoms on Saturday although her mother believed it was a normal cold at first

In Lyra’s case her condition worsened until she struggled to eat or drink anything. 

Before long she couldn’t even swallow her saliva and was unable to lift her head off her pillow and so was rushed to hospital by her mother.

‘At first I thought there was something wrong but I didn’t know anything about this illness until Sunday night,’ said Tanya, from Scunthorpe. ‘I thought she was going to die.’

Doctors initially thought that Lyra had contracted tonsillitis and gave her some medication to treat it.

Five-year-old Stella-Lily McCorkindale, of Northern Ireland, developed a life-threatening complication of the usually-harmless bug

Camila Rose, four, has been on a ventilator in Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool since last Sunday. She was initially sent home with an inhaler a week earlier

However, this proved unhelpful as the five-year-old continued to struggle doing some basic tasks such as eating.

‘I felt like such a bad parent because I couldn’t do anything,’ continued the 22-year-old mother.

‘She was looking really weak seeing as she couldn’t eat or drink anything.

‘I didn’t even realise that a child at that age could get tonsillitis.

What are the symptoms of Strep A? How does it spread? And is it the same as scarlet fever? Everything you need to know about the killer bug sweeping Britain 

What is Strep A?

Group A Streptococcus (Group A Strep or Strep A) bacteria can cause many different infections.

The bacteria are commonly found in the throat and on the skin, and some people have no symptoms.

Infections caused by Strep A range from minor illnesses to serious and deadly diseases.

They include the skin infection impetigo, scarlet fever and strep throat.

While the vast majority of infections are relatively mild, sometimes the bacteria cause an illness called invasive Group A Streptococcal disease.

What is invasive Group A Streptococcal disease?

Invasive Group A Strep disease is sometimes a life-threatening infection in which the bacteria have invaded parts of the body, such as the blood, deep muscle or lungs.

Two of the most severe, but rare, forms of invasive disease are necrotising fasciitis and streptococcal toxic shock syndrome.

Necrotising fasciitis is also known as the ‘flesh-eating disease’ and can occur if a wound gets infected.

Streptococcal toxic shock syndrome is a rapidly progressing infection causing low blood pressure/shock and damage to organs such as the kidneys, liver and lungs.

This type of toxic shock has a high death rate.

‘I was on my phone all night, listening to her breathing and panicking – thinking it was something much worse.’

Unhappy with the diagnosis, Tanya took her daughter back to hospital and found she had been battling the deadly Strep A infection.

A total of nine children in the UK have now died as a result of this infection since September.

Lyra was given some more medication to treat the illness and has started to make a slow recovery.

However, her mother feels not everyone is taking the infection seriously.

‘It was such a weight off my shoulders when I found out because I knew I was right,’ continued Ms Dawson.

‘I’m scared to think of what could have happened if I didn’t take her to hospital as quickly as I did,’ said Tanya.

‘If you see a high temperature or even a nappy rash, please take your children to A&E to get checked out. Even I thought it was just a normal bug at first.’

It comes as pharmacy bosses have warned there are ‘no drugs’ available, with blips in the supply chain expected to rumble on until into 2023.

Parents scrambling to find drugs have even been turned away from chemists due to a lack of supplies.

Phenoxymethylpenicillin, amoxicillin and clarithromycin are three antibiotics used to treat Strep A, with the drugs given through an IV drip in severe cases.

The UK Health Security Agency told doctors to have a ‘low threshold’ for prescribing antibiotics to youngsters who have suspected Strep A. 

It also advised GPs to ‘maintain a low threshold for prompt referral’ to hospital of any children with persistent or worsening symptoms. 

The drugs are used to treat the myriad of infections that Strep A bacteria can cause, including the skin infection impetigo, scarlet fever and strep throat.

While the vast majority of infections are relatively mild, sometimes the bacteria cause serious and life-threatening invasive Group A Streptococcal (iGAS).

This occurs when the bacteria have invaded parts of the body such as the blood, deep muscle or lungs.

Two of the most severe, but rare, forms of invasive disease are necrotising fasciitis and streptococcal toxic shock syndrome.

From the ‘bubbly’ seven-year-old whose father desperately tried CPR to save, to the four-year-old who loved exploring: 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

Hannah Roap 

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

Stella-Lily McCorkindale

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.

Source: Read Full Article