The mother of a two-year-old boy who was severely ill with strep A has asked parents to be aware of the symptoms to look out for if their child shows signs of the bacterial infection.
Jade Lamb, who lives in Wales, urges families to seek medical attention if they notice their child complaining of a sore throat and their tongue has white patches with red spots.
These were the symptoms that alarmed the mother-of-two after finding her normally energetic son Jesse Taylor limp and barely able to open his eyes on Friday night.
The 29-year-old child practitioner immediately called 111 after trying to wake her son, but found that his body was hot to the touch.
Conscious concerns about an increase in Strep A, which has so far claimed the lives of seven children in the UK, she had been in the headlines, she opened her mouth and noticed that her tongue looked an unusual color.
“I knew something was very wrong with my son, as it was very out of character for him to be like this,” she said.
“Both his father and I were so worried because he also seemed to be hallucinating.
“They put me in touch with the ambulance service because I explained that Jesse couldn’t sit down, but they told us there was an eight-hour wait, so I rushed him to A&E.”
It took more than two hours for the family to be seen, and despite an A&E doctor examining Jesse and reassuring the family that her observations were correct, Jade was unconvinced.
She added: ‘The doctor wasn’t concerned even though I asked him to check her tongue because it seemed to have pink spots on it.
“I was surprised that he sent us home and told us to keep him on medication because something didn’t feel right.”
Within hours of being home, Jesse’s condition worsened and his temperature shot up.
She couldn’t eat or drink and her body was still limp, Jade said.
What are the symptoms of strep A?
Strep A can cause many different illnesses, but they tend to start with some typical symptoms.
According to the National Health Service, a long-standing scratchy, red, and sore throat is the main one to watch out for, as well as fever, headache, and swollen lymph nodes (lumps) in the neck and under the jaw.
This is because bacteria tend to hide in people’s throats, and this infection is commonly called strep throat.
However, things like a cough or a runny nose are not symptoms of strep throat.
If someone has strep throat, they could also develop scarlet fever. This mild disease produces irregular red spots on the body and is caused by the same bacteria.
This rash, which makes the skin feel like sandpaper, usually appears 12 to 48 hours after the fever begins.
“I was so scared at this point that I took him to the GP after hours at the Royal Glamorgan hospital, where a doctor looked at him and confirmed it was strep A,” she added.
He checked everything from head to toe to make sure it hadn’t entered the bloodstream.
“The doctor was brilliant and confirmed that Jesse had strep throat, tonsillitis and scarlet fever all at the same time.
“He prescribed us two lots of penicillin and to make sure we were monitoring Jesse closely at home.”
Although the antibiotics began to take effect, four days after Jesse still hasn’t fully recovered.
It’s okay. He is still not himself, as he is very grumpy and last night he was crying and moaning every hour.
‘It absolutely hit him. He also suffers from asthma so that was also a concern.
“It’s been absolutely horrible to see it so bad and I’m a child practitioner myself, so hearing from some children that they haven’t recovered has been horrible.”
“I knew something was not quite right and with all the strep A going around I matched their symptoms and most importantly I urge parents to check their child’s throat and tongue as it is a strong clue as to whether they have strep A.
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