Boy, 11, dies of flesh-eating bug after hurting his ankle – the 10 signs all parents must know | The Sun

AN 11-year-old boy has died after contracting a flesh eating bug, his family has said.

Jesse Brown, had twisted his ankle while running on a treadmill a few weeks ago.

His cousin Megan Brown, from Florida, US, said he may have scratched it during the accident, making way for the bacteria to enter his system.

A few days after the injury, the youngster's leg was covered in splotchy, purply, red, bruise-like marks, she said.

He was swiftly rushed to hospital and placed on the intensive care unit, where medics said he had been battling a group A strep infection.

This later morphed into a flesh-eating bug known as necrotizing fasciitis, which led to Jesse's brain swelling, killing the 11-year-old.

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"They said that because he rolled his ankle, that that’s likely where the infection attacked it, because it was already weak", Megan told Fox 35 Wednesday.

In most cases, Strep A bacteria causes mild illnesses, but in rare cases it can trigger invasive Group Strep A disease.

Group A streptococcus (GAS) are a type of bacteria found in the throat and skin.

Invasive Group Strep A occurs if these bacteria get into the bloodstream or other areas where they shouldn't be.

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This can then lead to serious illnesses such as pneumonia, meningitis, sepsis and necrotizing fasciitis.

What are the 10 symptoms of necrotizing fasciitis and Strep A?

The NHS states that necrotizing fasciitis is a flesh-eating disease.

The guidelines state that it is a rare infection that can occur when a wound becomes infected and requires immediate hospital treatment.

The first signs of the disease are:

  1. severe pain or loss of feeling near a cut or wound – the pain can seem much worse than you would normally expect from a cut or wound
  2. swelling of the skin around the affected area
  3. flu-like symptoms such as fever, headache and fatigue

Later symptoms may include:

4. nausea (vomiting) and diarrhea

5. confusion

6. black, purple, or grey patches and blisters on the skin (these may be less noticeable on black or brown skin)

You should go to A&E if you have a cut or it’s more painful than expected.

The NHS says you also need emergency care if you have a cut or wound and are experiencing symptoms such as a high temperature, headache, fatigue and muscle aches.

If you suddenly become confused or if you have black, purple, or grey spots or blisters near a cut or wound, you should go to the emergency room or call 999.

There are four key signs of invasive Group A Strep to watch out for, according to the NHS. These are:

  1. A fever (meaning a high temperature above 38°C)
  2. Severe muscle aches
  3. Localised muscle tenderness
  4. Redness at the site of a wound

The invasive version of the disease happens when the bacteria break through the body's immune defences.

This can happen if you're already feeling unwell or have an immune system that’s weakened.

Two of the most severe examples of invasive disease are necrotising fasciitis – a very rare but life-threatening infection also called ‘flesh-eating disease’ – and toxic shock syndrome.

Jesse's family said that the youngster had a boot on following the injury and that they hadn't realised how fast the issue could progress.

A GoFundMe page has now been set up to help pay for a memorial to honour the youngster.

A message on the page read: "Jesse was a miracle child. His parents were told they would never have children.

"They had given up hope, and after 10 years of trying, they were blessed with Jesse Ryder Brown. That miracle was taken from us far too soon."

His deaths comes as infections of Strep A have continued to increase.

It was this week reported that at least 40 children have now died in the UK from the illness since September 2022.

Who is at risk?

Some people are at higher risk of contracting the invasive form. 

The NHS says those people include anyone who:

  • is in close contact with someone who already has it
  • is over the age of 65
  • is diabetic
  • has heart disease or cancer
  • has recently had chickenpox
  • has HIV
  • uses some steroids or intravenous drugs

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The time of year can also be a factor. Outbreaks can be rife in late winter and early spring, but the risk remains all year round.

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