UPDATE: Strep A death toll rises to 16 as star shares her experience

Alex Lewis - Credit The Lee Spark Foundation

14:36 (December 10) – The number of children who died from Strep-A has risen to 16 with deaths having occurred in almost all parts of the country. 

With doctors warning of the danger Danniella Westbrook has been sharing her story after being hospitalised with Strep A.

The ex-EastEnders star was rushed to a London hospital last night after she nearly died, since then she has been providing fans with regular updates on her condition. 

The star is said to be suffering from severe flu as well with high temperatures and on a drip. 

The day after she was hospitalised she thanks the staff at Whipps Cross who managed to stabilise her, saying she could’ve died. 


After being admitted with flu she was then diagnosed with Strep A and has remained in hospital where she continues to receive care. 

08:19 (December 9) – The death toll among children who are infected with the Strep A virus has risen to 15. 

The news of the latest death comes as pharmacists say there is a shortage of antibiotics to treat the children, a claim that the government denies. 

With the virus easily misdiagnosed experts have warned parents to ensure their child receives a thorough examination and where necessary antibiotics. They add if they are unsure or are unable to get a doctors appointment they should take the child to accident and emergency. 

15:09 (December 6) – The flood of Strep A cases that have been recorded across the UK has left at least nine children dead and one father who has had to have all his limbs amputated as well as requiring facial reconstruction.

Health authorities on Tuesday, December 6 said that the high number of cases is possibly down to the isolation and the use of masks at a critical time, when children were building immunity.

The latest victim was a primary school child from Waterlooville in Hampshire, but it is understood that a number remain in hospital in a serious condition.

Strep A infections result in a fever and sore throat, symptoms that can easily be mistaken for flu and other winter viruses for which antibiotics cannot be used.

That according to one expert makes it difficult to detect, but if it does go undetected it can lead to very serious symptoms including scarlet fever.

As a result, the NHS said that it has advised doctors to get young children on to antibiotics as soon as there is a suspicion that the child has Strep A.

Medicines are, however, said to be low in supply causing doctors to be cautious and that can be fatal.

One such person who can attest to the danger of the virus is Alex Lewis who thought he had ‘man flu’ back in 2013. But not long after contracting the virus he collapsed and was rushed to hospital.

Given just a three per cent chance to live, Lewis contracted Septicaemia as a result of the bug. He told the Mail online: ‘I saw an interview with the father of a little girl in Alder Hey hospital and that was pretty raw. I can only imagine what he’s going through, and I know my family went through similar. It’s tough.

‘It’s great that the media is raising awareness. I think it’s important parents don’t panic as it is cold and flu season, but with low baseline immunity after two years of not mixing, things are spreading in schools and it’s quite a worrying time.’

Lewis lost all his limbs as a result of the Septicaemia and has urged parents to be safe rather than sorry, saying do not be shy to push to see a doctor.

Strep A is most treatable in the early stages of the infection.

Health officials are said to be concerned about the high number of cases of a more serious mutation of the bug called an iGAS infection. Anyone who contracts the infection can be susceptible to problems like sepsis as it penetrates far deeper into the body.

Yorkshire and Humberside is said to be the worst affected with Strep A infections that have left nine children dead, with as many as 1.4 in 100,000 being infected.

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Written by

Peter McLaren-Kennedy

Originally from South Africa, Peter is based on the Costa Blanca and 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]