Mother of girl, 5, in hospital after contracting 'Streptococcus A' warns parents to know symptoms

The mother of a five-year-old girl who is in hospital battling pneumonia after contracting 'Streptococcus A' wants to inform parents how to identify the symptoms of the disease.

Laura Rooney from Banbridge told UTV of the terrible toll the bacterial disease has taken on her daughter Farah.

Ms Rooney said: "It has really hit her hard."

She added: "She has been on five antibiotics in total and we're still trying to find what out the source of this new rash is."

It comes as clusters of 'Strep A' and scarlet fever continue to rise among children in nurseries and schools in Northern Ireland.

The surge is higher than what is typically expected in winter.

Across the UK, eight school children have now died of the invasive infection.

Infection with Group A Streptococcus bacterium usually causes a sore throat, scarlet fever or skin rash.

Skin rash is a common symptom of infection with Group A Streptococcus bacterium. Credit: UTV

Downing Street has also urged parents to be on the 'lookout' for symptoms after a rise in infections-amid-rising-cases-of-strep-a.

Officials said they can "fully understand" that parents are concerned by rising cases but stressed the NHS is "well prepared" for such situations.

Number 10 said it was not aware of any current shortage of the antibiotic amoxicillin.

Farah was diagnosed with 'Strep A' in November, however her mother believes she developed it two months before her diagnoses.

"Last week, it took a turn for the worst," Laura said.

"I took it upon myself to put the child in the car and take her to hospital.

"It was there that they did an X-ray of her chest and discovered that she had pneumonia in her lungs as well.

"That's what she was battling with."

Laura is now waiting to hear if the bacterial disease is in her lungs.

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