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I dread to think what the outcome would’ve been if I’d ignored little-known Strep A symptom in my son

A MUM is warning parents to be on the look out for a little known Strep A symptom after her son was hospitalised with the bug.

Keyan Coupland, aged three, was taken to the hospital complaining of ear pain which later turned out to be invasive Group Strep A, which is currently spreading across the UK.

Kerry Coupland with son Keyan whose ear infection turned out to be a sign of Strep A
The map above shows the areas where Strep A deaths have occurred in the UK

Keyan’s mun, Kerry, said she “dreads to think what the outcome could have been” if she hadn’t of taken her son to see doctors.

She is now warning other parents if they have “any doubts whatsoever”, to phone health services for advice.

The mum, aged 43, first received a phone call from Keyan’s nursery on December 8, asking Kerry to pick up her son who appeared to have a fever.

“He was constantly shivering despite having on a jacket and being wrapped in a blanket,” she told the Daily Record.

“I kept him off the next day as a precaution and kept an eye on him over the weekend but there didn’t seem to be anything to worry about,” she added.

But by Monday, the little boy’s ears were weeping.

“Lots of gunk coming out of them so I took him to the doctor who had one look at him and said I should take him to hospital,” Kerry said.

Doctors at the Dumfries Infirmary, Scotland, told Kerry, her son was likely suffering with a upper respiratory infection and sent him home to recover.

The following day, test results revealed little Keyan actually had Strep A.

“My heart skipped a beat,” the mum said. “I actually had to ask twice if I’d heard correctly”.

“Keyan had none of the signs that you’re told to look out for including a rash,” she explained.

“I’d taken him to the doctor because of his ears and it turned out to be this disease that has killed children.”

It comes after it was announced that a sixteenth child has died from the illness, at a primary school in Brighton.

“I feel very lucky that Dr Brown at Lochmaben didn’t take any chances and sent us to hospital straight away,” Kerry said.

“We caught it in time with Keyan because of that and he’ll be fine.”

“But I’d tell other parents not just to go by the warning signs,

“If you think something isn’t right and have any doubts whatsoever, phone the doctor or out of hours for advice,” she explained.

Group A Streptococcus — Streptococcus pyogenes — is a bacteria that can cause mild illness.

This can include sore throats and skin infections, alongside tonsillitis, cellulitis, and scarlet fever, which is flu-like and tends to occur in children – it can be serious if not treated swiftly with antibiotics.

In rare cases, the bacteria can trigger invasive Group Strep A disease, which can prove life-threatening and even fatal.

There has been an increase in cases this year, particularly in children under the age of 10.

Pharmacists are currently warning parents there are limited Strep A antibiotics in some parts of the country, as the government continues to insist there are no shortages.

An increase in demand for the life-saving medicines has left some pharmacists unable to get hold of the drugs.

Supplies of two first line treatments: phenoxymethylpenicillin, or penicillin V and amoxicillin are patchy across the country, according to the medicine experts.

Some pharmacists are also finding it impossible to get hold of clarithromycin, which is used for children and adults with a penicillin allergy and azithromycin, another treatment for the bug.

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