12-year-old becomes first UK secondary school pupil to die from Strep A bug

Image of Streptococcus pyogenes bacteria. Credit: Wikipedia - By Photo Credit:Content Providers(s): - This media comes from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Public Health Image Library (PHIL), with identification number #2110.

A 12-year-old boy is the first pupil of secondary school age to die from the Strep A bug that is sweeping the UK.


A 12-year-old boy from the private Colfe’s School in Lewisham, South East London, is the first pupil of secondary school age to die from the Strep A bug that is currently sweeping the UK. He is reported to have contracted the more serious invasive Group A Strep bacteria which caused blood poisoning. 

Richard Russell, the headmaster of the private school, in a letter to his pupils’ parents expressed his shock at the death. He stressed that the chances of children dying from the bug were low, but it is believed that another pupil from his school is also in hospital, according to The Sun, today, Saturday, December 3.

He explained: “We have taken advice from the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA). Blood tests identified the student had blood poisoning (septicaemia) caused by Group A streptococcus (GAS), which led to invasive Group A Streptococcal disease (iGAS)”.

He continued: “The GAS bacterium is very common and usually causes mild illness such as scarlet fever, which can be treated with antibiotics. However, in very rare circumstances it can be complicated by other ­infections and get into the bloodstream – becoming invasive and causing blood poisoning”.

An illness which usually only causes a mild sore throat and temperature has now claimed the lives of at least six children since September as confirmed by UK health officials.

The previous deaths occurred in pupils of primary school age. Health chiefs in the UK have urged parents to be on the alert for symptoms and to act promptly if they believe their child is affected.

Kids being shut away at home during the pandemic lockdowns is one factor being blamed in many quarters. This has subsequently lowered their immune systems, making them more susceptible to infections.


Thank you for taking the time to read this article. Do remember to come back and check The Euro Weekly News website for all your up-to-date local and international news stories and remember, you can also follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

FacebookTwitterRedditWhatsAppTelegramLinkedInEmailCopy Link
Go Back
Written by

Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]