Child with suspected Streptococcus A dies in Northern Ireland

A child in Northern Ireland believed to have suspected Streptococcus A has died in hospital, UTV understands.

It is understood to be the first death in NI linked to the current 'Strep A' outbreak.

It is understood she became ill last week and was receiving treatment at the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children.

The child was a pupil at Black Mountain Primary School.

In a statement, it said: "Sadly, the governors, staff and students of Black Mountain Primary School have been informed of the death of one of our P2 pupils.

“This is a tragic loss to the Black Mountain Primary School family and our school community, and the thoughts of the entire school are with the pupil’s family and friends at this difficult time.

“To assist in supporting our pupils and staff at this sad time, additional trained staff from the Education Authority Critical Incident Response Team have been engaged and will be providing support to the school.

“A letter has been sent by the school to parents, informing them of our tragic loss and providing information on the support services available through school for our children during this incredibly sad time.

“We recognise that this news may cause worry amongst our school community and we want to reassure parents that we continue to work closely with the Public Health Agency at this time.”

Health Authorities in Northern Ireland have yet to comment.

Eight children in Great Britain have died with a form of strep A.

As of Tuesday evening, the Public Health Agency have confirmed that 29 cases the invasive infection have been diagnosed in Northern Ireland this year.

That is an increase on the previous year.

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

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

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