Four primary school-aged children have died from Strep A, a bacterial infection that has broken out across schools in the UK.
Four-year-old Muhammad Ibrahim Ali died at his home on November 14 after suffering a cardiac arrest, his devastated family said.
He attended Oakridge School and Nursery in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire.
Today it was confirmed by health authorities that a child from St John’s School in Ealing, west London, had passed away just a day after another death was reported in Penarth, Wales.
A six-year-old pupil at a Surrey school died after an outbreak of strep A last week.
Muhammed’s mother, Shabana Kousar, told the Bucks Free Press: “The loss is great and nothing will replace it.
“He was very helpful around the house and quite adventurous, he loved exploring and enjoyed forest school, his best day was a Monday and said Monday was the best day of the week.
“He also had a very close bond with his father. He was his best friend and went everywhere with him. He just wanted to be with him.
A JustGiving page has raised more than £4,300 in memory of Muhammad to build a memorial at his nursery.
Oakbridge School and Nursery headteacher Stuart Cook said: ‘We want to create a lasting memorial at the school so that there is always a place at Oakridge for Ibrahim – a place where he was so very happy.
“This will enable us to remember the wonderful, kind, smiling, energetic boy that Ibrahim was.”
At least three other young people have died from strep A.
The UK Health Safety Agency (UKHSA) confirmed that a child contracted the bacteria while attending St John’s School in Ealing, west London.
The school was hit by an outbreak of invasive strep A, which is when the bacteria works its way into people’s blood or skin, rather than the throat.
Victoria Primary School in Penarth, Wales, confirmed on Thursday that a pupil had died after contracting the disease.
Their name, according to loved ones, was seven-year-old Hanna Reap.
A fundraiser set up for her read: ‘Hi, my name is Aysha. I am raising money in memory of beautiful Hanna who died tragically on Friday 25/11/22. She then died suddenly due to contracting Strep A.
“She was the most beautiful, bubbly, funny, lovely person. The family is devastated.’
The third known case saw a six-year-old child at Ashford Church of England Primary School in Ashford, Surrey, die following a Strep A outbreak earlier this week.
There are no indications that the four deaths are related, health authorities stress.
Strep A refers to a type of bacteria that can cause various diseases such as strep throat, scarlet fever and more serious complications such as rheumatic fever.
Strep throat results in a long-term scratchy throat, fever and swollen lymph nodes, according to the NHS.
It is transmitted by close physical contact or through people’s depot drops.
Once someone gets the bacteria, it takes about two to five days for strep throat symptoms to appear.
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