A MUM whose two children are both battling Strep A has urged parents to be on the lookout for symptoms.
Aimee Byron said son Jamie Jones, three, became tired and started screaming in pain, holding his head saying he had “tickles in his throat”.
Just days later, her 17-month-old Drew also came down with the illness.
The 22-year-old’s warning comes after it was this morning revealed that another child has died from the outbreak.
A five-year-old girl is believed to have fallen ill last week and was treated in hospital but sadly passed away yesterday, the BBC reports.
Her death takes the number of children known to have died from the illness – which usually only causes a mild sore throat and temperature but can be life-threatening – to nine.
Stay-at-home mum Aimee said she is lucky that her sons are now at the other end of the scale, but said it could have been much worse.
She said that Jamie had been covered in white big spots and doctors told Aimee he was suffering from tonsillitis.
But after a few days of suffering, she took him back to the GP where he was diagnosed with Strep A and taken to hospital for treatment.
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Jamie had a sore throat, large glands, was drowsy and holding his ears, couldn’t swallow drinks and wasn’t passing urine.
But just a day after he returned home, little brother Drew, 17 months, was diagnosed with the same bacterial infection, after catching it from Jamie.
Both boys are at home recovering and Aimee, from Hampshire, says she feels lucky that she trusted her instincts and didn’t just accept that it was tonsillitis.
Aimee said: “It made me feel so helpless because you feel like screaming at the doctor.
“I know they have done years and years in studying but I know my child.
“It was so refreshing to hear the doctor say they weren’t going to question me on my child.
“I am so unbelievably lucky to have my Jamie at home, getting better when this story could have had such a devastating end.
“He is luckily at the better end of the scale now in terms of Strep A severity but if left it could’ve been worse.”
Just be aware this horrible infection spreads so fast. Both of my little boys now have Strep A
On Tuesday November 29, Jamie woke up feeling drowsy and restless.
She looked down his throat and realised that his tonsil were “nearly touching” and the back of his throat was covered in white big spots and small red pinpricks.
After having a look on Google, she said she had thought the illness had looked like Strep A.
Aimee said: ” I had looked at photos online of Strep Throat and what Jamie had looked exactly the same. I questioned that and he didn’t really make a comment.
“We got antibiotics and started them straight away.
“Jamie went for a wee Wednesday afternoon and didn’t go again until Friday morning and when he went it was the tiniest amount.
“On Thursday evening, I thought ‘I’m not having this’ and I got told I can either have a phone appointment within hours or take him to the hospital.”
But she claims medics at the hospital had told her to wait five days and that if he condition worsened, she should take him to a GP.
Unsatisfied, Aimee took him to a GP.
Aimee said: “After seeing how poorly he was, the state of his throat and that he had such poor urine output she called the Paediatric Department at the Queen Alexandra Hospital, Portsmouth.
“She noticed that all down the back of his throat was covered in tiny ulcers and she said it was the worst throat in a child she had ever seen.”
It was there that a swab was taken and Jamie was diagnosed with Strep A, and given antibiotics.
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 A Strep disease.
Guidance from the NHS states that there are four key signs of invasive disease:
- fever (a high temperature above 38°C (100.4°F)
- severe muscle aches
- localised muscle tenderness
- 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.
Then Drew also fell poorly on December 3.
Following a telephone consultation, he was immediately diagnosed with Strep A.
She added: “I am so lucky it was caught when it was as now we know what we are dealing with and how to manage it while he gets better.
“I knew it was Strep A and if it wasn’t that then it definitely wasn’t just tonsillitis.
“Just be aware this horrible infection spreads so fast. Both of my little boys now have Strep A.
“My youngest Strep A got worse so now he has sores around his mouth and a rash on his feet.
“They have said that he now also has Scarlet Fever as well as Strep A.
“My eldest, Jamie, is doing so much better. We just now need to hope my youngest follows that and starts feeling better soon.”