Tributes were paid to a five-year-old pupil from a West Belfast primary school who died from a severe case of the Strep A bacterial infection.
Tella-Lily McCorkindale’s school, Black Mountain Primary School, said her death was a “tragic loss to our school community.”
“Sadly, the governors, staff and students of Black Mountain Elementary School have been informed of the untimely passing of one of our P2 students, Stella-Lily McCorkindale,” one post read.
“This is a tragic loss for the Black Mountain Elementary School family and our school community, and the thoughts of the entire school are with Stella-Lily’s family and friends at this sad and difficult time.
“Stella-Lily was a very bright and talented child and very popular with staff and children and will be sorely missed by everyone at school.
“To help support our students and staff at this sad time, additional trained staff from the Education Authority’s Critical Incident Response Team have been recruited and will provide support to the school.
“We recognize that this news may cause concern among our school community, and we want to reassure parents that we continue to work closely with the Public Health Agency at this time.”
A fundraising page was set up in support of Stella-Lily’s family and, in less than 24 hours, had raised over £5,000.
According to BBC News NIthe schoolgirl died after spending a short time in an intensive care unit at the Royal Victoria Hospital.
On Friday, the Public Health Agency sent a letter to parents of children from P1 to P3 at the school to inform them that a student had been diagnosed with a serious case of strep A.
SDLP MLA for West Belfast, Paul Doherty said there has been a “shower of grief across the area” following the news of Stella-Lily’s death.
“This is a devastating loss that has been felt throughout our community and we have seen a great response to support the affected family,” he said.
“I am on the ground in this area every day and there is a real sense of disbelief that this has happened, particularly at this time of year when so many families look forward to Christmas with their children.”
Speaking in the House of Commons, DUP East Belfast MP Gavin Robinson encouraged cooperation between public health agencies across the UK and called for more resources to be made available.
“The commitment to making antibiotics available is welcome, but we know the dangers that strep A can present. Tragically, it took the life of a girl who was a P2 student at Blackmountain Primary School. Everyone’s condolences will be with the family facing this heartbreaking tragedy,” she said.
“It is important to address any incidence of strep A that resources are available where they are needed and that our public health agencies work together across the UK.”
In a statement, the Northern Secretary of the National Organization for Teachers of Ireland, Gerry Murphy, said he wished to send his “condolences to the parents and family of Stella-Lily, and to the pupils, staff and school community at large.” from Black Mountain Elementary School at this time. very difficult time.”
“It is vitally important that all schools immediately receive appropriate advice from the PHA and employment authorities to identify symptoms and appropriate actions that need to be taken to protect students, staff and school communities to prevent further tragedies. related to this. current outbreak.”
On Monday, the headmaster of Brackenagh West Primary School, near Kilkeel, said two children had been hospitalized with the infection and “dozens” of pupils had symptoms of the infection.
It has also been confirmed that the Republic of Ireland Health Service Executive is investigating the death of a four-year-old boy who could be linked to the invasive form of Strep A. The child is understood to be from the North East and area of Dublin. health region.
Earlier this week, health officials in England confirmed that a boy at St John’s School in Ealing, west London, had died of the bacterial infection, while the parents of a four-year-old boy from Buckinghamshire confirmed who had died from strep A.
A boy from a primary school in Penarth, near Cardiff, also died.
Group A streptococcus (group A strep or A strep) is a bacterium that can cause many different infections. Symptoms can be found in the throat and on the skin, and it affects children more seriously than adults. It can be treated with antibiotics, and severe cases are rare.
Strep A can turn into scarlet fever, which can cause flu-like symptoms, high fever, and rash..
The Public Health Agency (PHA) has said the number of scarlet fever cases in Northern Ireland has increased in “recent months”. However, the agency asks parents to be vigilant.