Nicole Williams, two, dies from strep A and sepsis as the number of cases of the virus spike
Little girl, two, dies from deadly illness spreading across Australia at an alarming rate – four days after seeing a doctor with a slight temperature
- Two-year-old girl dies from streptococcus A and sepsis
- She died four days after presenting a temperature
A family has been left devastated by the sudden death of their two-year-old daughter from streptococcus A – a virus which is rapidly spreading across Australia.
Paul and Olga Williams, from Queensland, took their daughter Nicole to the GP when she presented with a slight temperature on February 21.
Her symptoms gradually worsened, with her skin becoming red and blotchy and the toddler suffering from vomiting and diarrhoea.
Nicole was rushed to hospital where she was diagnosed with pneumonia before going into cardiac arrest, with CPR performed on the two-year-old for more than 40 minutes.
She died from septic shock and strep A just days after she first displayed any symptoms.
Distraught dad Mr Williams said his final words to his daughter were: ‘You should be fine’.
A Brisbane family has been stunned by the sudden death of their two-year-old daughter Nicole (pictured) from Strep A, a virus that is sweeping the country
Tragically, the toddler’s infection was originally missed as the she had tested positive for influenza.
The doctor had told them that she had a viral infection and ‘antibiotics were unnecessary’ yet her condition rapidly worsened and she was rushed to Queensland Children’s Hospital.
‘Her red skin changed to more blotchy … (she was) very pale, she started vomiting and experienced diarrhoea,’ Mr Williams told the Courier Mail.
When Nicole was taken to hospital she was fitted with three different oxygen masks. None of them increased her low oxygen saturation levels.
She was then diagnosed with pneumonia before going into cardiac arrest, the Courier-Mail reported.
The young girl received CPR for 41 minutes before she was hooked up to an ECMO machine.
On February 25 the two-year-old girl died from septic shock and strep A, a day which her father says will haunt him for the rest of his life.
Paul and Olga Williams took their daughter Nicole to the GP when she had a slight temperature on February 21 but three days later she died from Strep A and sepsis days later (pictured L-R Paul, Nicole, Olga Williams)
‘They asked me to stay in a family room as they intubated her… That moment is going to haunt me for the rest of my life, but she was conscious and I said to her just before I left her, she should be fine,’ Mr Williams said.
‘I said, I’ll be right back in a minute and that was a lie … that was the last time I saw her conscious.’
Strep A can cause serious illness with symptoms ranging from a sore throat and fever to severe sepsis.
The infection is responsible for more than 163,000 deaths each year globally, with the pandemic suspected of being indirectly responsible for a recent spike in cases.
This is because of people becoming in more frequent contact with one another again. Children are particularly vulnerable to the disease.
According to the national notifiable diseases surveillance system, there was more than 1000 serious invasive streptococcal infections in Australia in 2022.
The distraught dad said his final words to his daughter were, ‘you should be fine’ but that was the last time he saw her. The toddler’s case of strep A was originally missed as the toddler had tested positive for influenza
In 2022 two Victorian children died from complications following infection with strep A while in December a NSW boy had to have his legs amputated following a case.
Melbourne University senior lecturer in bacteriology Mark Davies said a new variant of strep A called M1UK has reached Australia and it is cause for concern.
‘We do need to be vigilant …. in relation to the identification of any variants that we see entering into Australia,’ Mr Davies told 7News.
Health authorities in the UK said the strain had led to the deaths of 30 children.
SYMPTOMS OF STREP A
– flu-like symptoms, such as a high temperature, swollen glands or an aching body.
– sore throat (strep throat or tonsillitis)
– a rash that feels rough, like sandpaper (scarlet fever)
– scabs and sores (impetigo)
– pain and swelling (cellulitis)
– severe muscle aches
– nausea and vomiting
Source: NHS UK