Mum whose two sons have Strep A reveals warning signs

Aimee Byron, 22, pictured a couple of years ago with her son Jamie (Picture: SWNS)

A mum is warning parents of the symptoms of Strep A after her two sons went to hospital due to the illness.

Aimee Byron, 22, said her son Jamie Jones started screaming in pain and was very tired, clutching his head and saying he had ‘tickles in his throat’.

The three-year-old’s throat was covered in big white spots and when she took him to the doctor, she was told it was tonsillitis.

But several days later he had not improved, and got to the point where he couldn’t swallow drinks or pass urine.

Aimee took him back to the doctors where he was diagnosed with Strep A and taken to hospital for treatment.

Jamie was sent home after a few hours, but the next day his younger brother Drew, 17 months, also became unwell.

Aimee, a stay-at-home mum from Fareham in Hampshire, said: ‘It made me feel so helpless because you feel like screaming at the doctor.

‘I know they have done years and years in studying but I know my child.

Jamie Jones, 3, and his brother Drew, 17 months (Picture: SWNS)
Aimee and partner Will Jones, 24, a salesman, say they feel lucky they trusted her instincts (Picture: SWNS)

‘It was so refreshing to hear the doctor say they weren’t going to question me on my child.

‘I am so unbelievably lucky to have my Jamie at home, getting better when this story could have had such a devastating end.

‘He is luckily at the better end of the scale now in terms of Strep A severity but if left it could’ve been worse.’

At least nine children have now died from Strep A in the UK this winter so far, according to the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA).

The UKHSA said there has been a rise in the rare invasive form of the infection, which is usually mild.

Health experts have suggested Covid-19 lockdowns may be to blame for the dramatic rise.

Jamie started screaming in pain and was very tired, clutching his head and saying he had ‘tickles in his throat’ (Picture: SWNS)
The three-year-old’s throat was covered in big white spots and she was initially told it was tonsillitis (Picture: SWNS)

Following the deaths, Aimee and partner Will Jones, 24, a salesman, say they feel lucky they trusted her instincts and took Jamie back to the doctor.

‘After seeing how poorly he was, the state of his throat and that he had such poor urine output she called the paediatric department at the Queen Alexandra Hospital,’ Aimee said.

‘She noticed that all down the back of his throat was covered in tiny ulcers and she said it was the worst throat in a child she had ever seen.’

She added the doctors and nurses at Queen Alexandra, in Portsmouth, were ‘really helpful’.

The mum is now speaking out about her experiences to help other parents identify the symptoms of Strep A (Picture: SWNS)

What is Strep A?

Strep A can cause a lot of different illnesses, but tends to start off with a few typical mild symptoms.

Strep throat is different from a regular sore throat and the pain can come on very quickly.

Symptoms include pain when swallowing, fever, and red and swollen tonsils – sometimes with white patches or streaks of pus.

The NHS recommends people see their GP if a sore throat does not improve after a week, if they are worried or if they have a high temperature, or feel hot and shivery, which is the sign of a more serious infection.

People with weakened immune systems such as those having chemotherapy should also see a doctor.

Impetigo is a skin infection which starts with red sores or blisters that then burst, leaving crusty, golden patches. The infection can be treated with antibiotics.

Scarlet fever symptoms are often flu-like, including a high temperature, a sore throat and swollen neck glands.

A rash appears 12 to 48 hours later, starting on the chest and stomach and then spreading.

A white coating also appears on the tongue which peels, leaving the tongue red, swollen and covered in little bumps (often called ‘strawberry tongue’).

Signs of necrotising fasciitis include fever (a high temperature above 38°C), severe pain and swelling, and redness at the wound site.

Early signs and symptoms of toxic shock may include fever, dizziness, confusion, low blood pressure, rash and abdominal pain.

While in hospital for around five hours, Jamie had a swab taken from the back of his throat and was diagnosed with Strep A, and was given Difflam spray to help with the pain.

And when Drew went down with it too, she knew exactly what to look for – and is now speaking out about her experience in the hope it may help others with the warning signs.

‘Jamie has turned a corner over the last few days,’ Aimee added.

‘I am so lucky it was caught when it was as now we know what we are dealing with and how to manage it while he gets better.

‘I knew it was Strep A and if it wasn’t that then it definitely wasn’t just tonsillitis.

‘Just be aware this horrible infection spreads so fast. Both of my little boys now have Strep A.

‘My youngest Strep A got worse so now he has sores around his mouth and a rash on his feet.

‘They have said that he now also has scarlet fever as well as Strep A.

‘My eldest, Jamie, is doing so much better. We just now need to hope my youngest follows that and starts feeling better soon.’

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