Mum shares Strep A warning signs after daughter left unable to walk
A mother who watched her daughter contract an infection caused by Strep A shared some of the warning signs.
Several children have died in recent weeks from infections caused by the bacterium, also known as group A streptococci.
While Strep A usually causes mild illnesses at best, like strep throat and scarlet fever, it can cause more serious complications.
Kadie Dolphin, 37, first noticed her daughter Nancie, six, was showing symptoms on November 8 – hours later Nancie was in hospital.
Nancie suffered from severe swelling, her body was covered with red spots, and she could not walk.
The mother-of-five says her daughter is now on the mend but has spoken out about the painful experience to warn other parents and guardians.
It all started with an itchy patch the size of a mosquito bite on Nancies stomach and knees, which Kadie initially shrugged off around 6 p.m.
She had returned from school earlier that day “happy and healthy”.
The health assistant, from Warrington, Cheshire, said: “She’s a livewire anyway, she’s crazy.”
But 12 hours later, Nancie suffered from a high temperature and a rash where the marks were.
With no doctor’s appointments available until 6 p.m., Kadie was taking her daughter to Halton Urgent Care Center when her hands became swollen.
Doctors initially believe Nancie was having an allergic reaction, although she was transferred to Warrington Hospital when her hands and lymph nodes also became swollen.
Kadie said: “They started on amoxicillin, they had to draw her 11 vials of blood.
What Strep A Symptoms Should Parents and Guardians Watch Out For?
According to the NHS, the main symptoms of Strep A infection include:
- Flu-like symptoms such as a high temperature, swollen glands, or an aching body
- Sore throat
- A rash that feels rough, like sandpaper
- scabs and sores
- pain and swelling
- Severe muscle pain
- nausea and vomiting
“She had lost the ability to walk, all her joints were swollen, she was all red and still had a high temperature – a throat swab was taken for Strep A.
“All night the medicine didn’t work and they kept coming back and saying she wasn’t getting better – she was kind of awake but she was very limp and couldn’t hold herself up.”
The doctors gave Nancie a high dose of penicillin through an IV drip that left Nancie with a burning sensation in her arms.
“Doctors said that early detection was the reason she recovered so quickly,” she said, adding that Nancie showed signs of recovery within 48 hours.
“To be honest I was absolutely petrified – when she started going really bad we didn’t know what it was and it felt like it took forever to figure out what was going on.
“The doctor said that the swelling was coming up in front of her eyes, [Nancie Rae] swollen right in front of us, the doctor said we were really worried and I was like, oh god.
“The worrying thing is that I didn’t know what was going on — I looked at her and thought, ‘Am I going to go out without my daughter?'”
Nancie is fine now but has a damaged kidney and a secondary infection.
The UK Health Security Agency has confirmed that at least 19 children in the UK have died as a result of Strep A since September.
It came just hours after the Department of Health and Social Care announced there was a “serious shortage” of three penicillin treatments needed for Strep A.
Strep A is spread through close contact, as well as through coughing, needing or coming into contact with a wound, says the NHS.
Some people who carry the bacteria show no symptoms at all.
These include a sore throat, fever, headache, muscle aches, and a patchy rash.
Health officials and experts are still unsure why Strep A cases are rising but warn the total number of cases this year is lower than previous highs.
Kadie added, “She’s pretty small for a six-year-old anyway and this infection has wreaked havoc on her body, but she’s back to her normal, crazy mental self.”
“All we hear is that the kids are over, but that’s not all,” she added. “She’s home and fine, horrible as it was, we need to build immunity.”
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