My daughter, 4, is fighting for her life with a deadly strep infection… we pray for a miracle – it’s heartbreaking

THE father of a four-year-old girl fighting for her life after contracting Step A has spoken of his pain after six other children died from the infection.

Young Camila Rose Burns has been on a ventilator since Monday – with her father Dean, who is now “praying for a miracle”.

Dean Burns' daughter Camila Rose has been fighting for her life since Monday


Dean Burns’ daughter Camila Rose has been fighting for her life since MondayPhoto credit: Sky News
The boy is on a ventilator at Alder Hey Children's Hospital


The boy is on a ventilator at Alder Hey Children’s HospitalPhoto credit: Sky News
She got infected at school


She got infected at schoolPhoto credit: Sky News

Group A strep infection has spread across the UK, with more than 800 cases of scarlet fever recorded.

Only an invasive form of the bacteria, which is rare, can lead to serious illness.

Five of the six deceased are under ten years old, said the British health authority.

They died within seven days of being diagnosed with the disease – a rare but serious disease caused by bacteria.

Dean told Sky News he’s been “living in an absolute nightmare” ever since Camilla fell ill.

He said: “When we arrived [to the hospital] On Monday it was said that she was the poorest girl in England.

“From dancing with her friends on Friday night, getting a little under the weather on Saturday and a little worse on Sunday, she’s basically not the same girl anymore. It’s heartbreaking.”

Dean, who lives in Bolton, Greater Manchester, says she complained about her chest after a bug walked around her school.

He and his wife Kaye, 39, took her to the hospital, where doctors sent her home with an inhaler – but just a day later they had to take her back to the emergency room.

She has been unresponsive in the intensive care unit at Liverpool’s Alder Hey Children’s Hospital since Sunday.

Dean said: “She’s fighting for her life and I’ve told her how much I love her, her mum loves, her sister loves her, we all love her.

“Everyone is praying for her and hoping for a miracle that she lives.

“She needs to live, she’s such a special little girl. I can still hear her singing… it’s too much.”

HIGH ALERT: Symptoms of Invasive Strep A

Group A Streptococcus (GAS) — also known as Streptococcus pyogenes — is a bacterium that can cause mild illnesses like sore throat and skin infections, including tonsillitis, cellulitis, impetigo, and scarlet fever.

In rare cases, the bacteria can trigger the life-threatening disease, invasive group A streptococcal disease.

NHS guidance states that there are four main characteristics of invasive disease:

  1. Fever (high temperature above 38°C (100.4°F))
  2. severe muscle pain
  3. localized muscle tenderness
  4. Redness at the site of a wound

Invasive disease occurs when the bacteria breach the body’s immune defenses.

It can happen if you are already ill or have a compromised immune system.

Two of the most serious examples of invasive diseases are necrotizing fasciitis and toxic shock syndrome.

You are at increased risk for invasive disease group A Strep if you:

  • being in close contact with someone who has the disease
  • are over 65 years old
  • Are diabetic, have heart disease or cancer
  • I recently had chickenpox
  • have HIV
  • Use some steroids or intravenous drugs, according to the NHS.

Strep A group bacteria can also cause scarlet fever, which can be severe if not treated with antibiotics.

Dean, who described the pain his family is feeling as “the worst in the world,” is now urging parents to look out for the signs and act quickly.

He said: “Looking back, it still seemed like an illness, she was really lethargic at times, but her health improved to the point of completely changing.

“No family should go through what we are going through.

“We just got out the Christmas tree, the cheeky elf, the advent calendars with all our names on them.

“It’s just wrong. I don’t know what’s going to happen to her, whatever happens, she’s our little girl, will always be our little girl.”

Symptoms of scarlet fever include a sore throat, headache, and fever, as well as a fine, pink or red body rash that feels like sandpaper.

On darker skin, the rash may be more difficult to see visually, but feels the same.

A UKHSA spokesman urged parents to call NHS 111 or their GP if they suspect scarlet fever, as early treatment with antibiotics can reduce the risk of complications, including pneumonia.

They added: “If your child has scarlet fever, leave them at home for at least 24 hours after starting antibiotic treatment to avoid spreading the infection to others.”

Families can reduce the risk of spreading the virus by keeping their hands clean and throwing away used tissues.

So far, six children have died within seven days of being diagnosed with invasive group A streptococcus.

The first victim was just six years old and died in Surrey last week.

Three more deaths were recorded within days in west London, Wales and Buckinghamshire.

Four-year-old Muhammad Ibrahim Ali later died at his home, according to his devastated family.

Another child who died from the infection was little Hanna Roap in Wales.

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And a schoolboy in north London is in hospital with an unconfirmed illness.

Experts say a lack of socializing among children during the Covid lockdown may have led to a drop in population-wide immunity that could increase transmission, particularly among school-age children.

When to call 999

According to the UKHSA, it is important that parents trust their instincts and seek help if their child appears to be seriously ill.

Contact NHS 111 or your GP if:

  • Your child is getting worse and worse
  • Your child is eating or eating much less than normal
  • Your child has had a dry diaper for 12 hours or more or is showing other signs of dehydration
  • Your baby is younger than 3 months and has a temperature of 38°C or older than 3 months and has a temperature of 39°C or more
  • Your baby will feel hotter than usual when you touch their back or chest, or feel sweaty
  • Your child is very tired or irritable

Call 999 or see A&E if:

  • Your child is having trouble breathing – you may notice grunting noises or the tummy sucking under the ribs
  • There are pauses when your child is breathing
  • your child’s skin, tongue or lips are blue
  • Your child is limp and will not wake up or stay awake
Four out of six locations of confirmed Strep A deaths


Four out of six locations of confirmed Strep A deaths
The father has shared his pain after six other children died


The father has shared his pain after six other children diedPhoto credit: Sky News My daughter, 4, is fighting for her life with a deadly strep infection… we pray for a miracle – it’s heartbreaking


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