Girl, 4, fighting for life with deadly Strep A that is sweeping UK schools

A devastated dad has warned other parents after his daughter contracted deadly Strep A.

Camila Rose Burns, four, has been on a ventilator since Monday after coming down with the disease, and dad Dean said he's been "living an absolute nightmare" ever since.

He told Sky News: "When we got [to hospital] Monday, they said she's the poorliest girl in the whole of England.

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"To go from dancing on Friday night with her friends to a little bit under the weather on Saturday and then a bit more bad on Sunday, she's basically not the same girl anymore. It's heartbreaking."

Dean said he took his daughter to hospital after the tot started complaining of chest pain.

Camila was sent home with an inhaler, but after her condition worsened she was rushed back to hospital just a day later.

She has been unresponsive since Sunday and is on a ventilator in Alder Hey Children's Hospital's critical care unit.

Dean added: "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.

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"Everyone's saying prayers for her, hoping for a miracle she lives. She needs to live, she's such a special little girl. I can still hear her singing… it's too much."

Group A Streptococcus – more commonly known as Strep A or Streptococcus pyogenes – has been sweeping the nation in recent months, and more than 800 cases of scarlet fever have been recorded so far.

Six children have died as a result so far, five of them under the age of 10 years old, according to the UK Health Security Agency.

Dean has now issued a harrowing warning to parents, encouraging them to act quickly when they spot symptoms of the illness – the most common of which are a fever (a high temperature above 38°C (100.4°F), severe muscle aches, localised muscle tenderness and redness at the site of a wound.

He said: "When I look back it still just seemed like a sickness bug, she was really lethargic at times, but her health was improving until she completely changed.

"No family should be going through what we're going through. We just got the Christmas tree out, the naughty elf, the advent calendars with all our names on.

"It's just wrong. I don't know what's going to happen to her, whatever does, 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, pinkish or red body rash with a sandpapery feel.

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On darker skin tones the rash can be more difficult spot by sight, but will have a sandpapery feel.

A UKHSA spokesperson said parents should call NHS 111 or their GP if they suspect scarlet fever.

They added that early treatment of the disease with antibiotics can reduce the risk of complications.

The spokesperson said: "If your child has scarlet fever, keep them at home until at least 24 hours after the start of antibiotic treatment to avoid spreading the infection to others."

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