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06th Dec 2022

Breaking: A 5-year-old girl has died from Strep A in Belfast

A Strep A outbreak was recorded at her school.

A 5-year-old girl has tragically died from Strep A in Belfast.

The young girl was a pupil at a school in north Belfast.

The BBC has confirmed the young girl tragically died after contracting scarlet fever. She was diagnosed with a severe case of Strep A.

The young girl spent a short time in ICU at Royal Victoria Hospital.

The Black Mountain Primary School in Belfast has recorded a Strep A outbreak. The school confirmed that two children had been hospitalised.

The Public Health Agency confirmed the young girl had a severe case of Strep A.

Parents have been alerted about the heartbreaking case.

Parents have also been told to be aware of Strep A symptoms.

Strep A symptoms are higher than this time last year.

Experts believe this is because children’s immune systems are more prone to infections after lockdown.

Dr. Scott Walkin told Morning Ireland that children’s immune systems haven’t been exposed to as many infections since Covid-19 lockdowns were put in place.

He confirmed that cases of RSV, flu, and Strep A will also likely rise this winter.

He reassured parents that most cases of Strep A are not severe, but they can become serious if the infection spreads to the lungs or the blood.

Scarlet fever tends to affect children under the age of 10.

Parents have been advised to look out for the following symptoms;

A fever
A rash
Sore throat
Flushed cheeks
Swollen tongue
According to the HPSC, parents should look out for a rash in the creases of joints and over their child’s stomach.

The rash typically feels rough, like sandpaper.

A child’s tongue may also be covered in a white coating, which will eventually peel. The tongue will then appear red and swollen, this is often called ‘strawberry tongue’.

The HPSC has reassured parents that scarlet fever is not usually serious. It is a mild infection with few complications, but some children may experience more serious symptoms.

Rare complications include pneumonia, kidney as well as heart damage.

However, scarlet fever can be treated with antibiotics and this will help prevent these complications.

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