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The Independent UK
The Independent UK
Jane Dalton

Woman arrested on suspicion of neglect over child’s Strep A death

Getty Images

A woman has been arrested on suspicion of child neglect over the death of an eight-year-old linked to the Strep A infection in Wales.

A 33-year-old woman was arrested by Dyfed-Powys Police on Friday after the “sudden death” of a child the day before in Lampeter, Ceredigion.

She has been released as inquiries continue, the BBC reported.

Public Health Wales confirmed it was looking into links between the child’s death and the invasive Strep A infection.

In England, at least 94 people, including 21 children, have died in four months after contracting Strep A, latest figures show.

Strep A is a common type of bacteria, usually found in the throat and on the skin. Most infections are mild and easily treated but occasionally they can cause the more serious scarlet fever and invasive group A streptococcal infection (iGAS), which can be fatal.

Parents are urged to look out for symptoms such as a sore throat, headache and fever, along with a fine, pinkish or red body rash with a sandpapery feel. On darker skin, the rash can be more difficult to spot but will still have a sandpapery feel.

Health chiefs advise parents to contact NHS 111 or their GP if they suspect a child has scarlet fever, because early treatment with antibiotics cuts the risk of complications such as pneumonia or a bloodstream infection.

Image of Streptococcus taken from a microscope (Universal Images Group via Getty)

Graham Brown, consultant in communicable disease control for Public Health Wales, said: “Public Health Wales is working with Hywel Dda University Health Board and Ceredigion Council following the death of a child in Lampeter.

“We offer our deepest condolences to the family, friends and all those affected. Public Health Wales cannot comment on individual cases.

“We are investigating links to invasive group A streptococcal disease (iGAS), a very rare complication of group A streptococcal infection.

“While we understand that parents are likely to be worried, cases of iGAS remain rare in Wales and children have a very low risk of contracting the disease.”

The death follows those of seven-year-old Hanna Roap, from Penarth, South Wales, and a child from Powys who has not been identified.

Both families have confirmed the cause of death of both children was iGAS.

Public Health Scotland announced on Wednesday that two children aged under 10 in Scotland had died with Strep A infection since 3 October.

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