Nova Scotia child dies from aggressive form of strep, family speaks out

Click to play video: 'Six-year-old boy dies from aggressive form of strep A in Nova Scotia'
Six-year-old boy dies from aggressive form of strep A in Nova Scotia
A six-year-old has passed away after contracting an aggressive form of strep A in Nova Scotia. As Skye Bryden-Blom reports, Public Health says the province has been seeing an increase in cases – Mar 18, 2024

A six-year-old Nova Scotia boy has passed away after contracting an aggressive form of strep.

The family of Jaydon Davis is speaking out with the hope of preventing a similar tragedy.

His father, Randy Davis, said when Jaydon first fell sick with a fever they were hesitant to take him to the emergency room due to concerns about long waits.

“It seemed to be a normal fever,” he said. Instead, they set up a virtual doctor’s appointment through the family’s private health plan and Jaydon was prescribed a puffer for his cough.

Randy said within 48 hours of developing symptoms, his son passed away on March 6.

The family later learned he had contracted an aggressive form of strep known as invasive group A streptococcal disease (iGAS).

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Jaydon Davis died within 48 hours after developing symptoms of invasive group A streptococcal, his father says. Courtesy: Randy Davis via Facebook

In a phone interview with Global News, Randy said he’s raising his voice to encourage other parents not to hesitate and to head to the ER and get tested for the rare disease, even if their child is only presenting with a fever.

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“It will never not be worth it to find out,” he said.

Click to play video: 'Strep A cases on the rise in the Maritimes'
Strep A cases on the rise in the Maritimes

No outbreaks connected to school case, says Nova Scotia Health

Nova Scotia Health (NSH) says close contacts have been identified and offered antibiotics. A letter was also sent home to Jaydon’s classmates at Admiral Westphal Elementary School in Dartmouth warning of potential exposure.

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“As there have been no additional cases connected to this individual, this is not considered an outbreak,” said NSH spokesperson Jennifer Lewandowski in a statement.

However, the province has seen an increase in positive cases of invasive group A strep when compared to 2022 rates and pre-pandemic years.

Cases have also been rising across the country.

“Invasive group A streptococcal disease is a rare disease but every year there are cases in Nova Scotia,” the statement said.

“Most cases are single ‘sporadic’ cases. Group A strep can cause common infections such as strep throat and skin infections. Rarely the infection is severe, and can result in blood infections, pneumonia requiring intensive care, or it can cause necrotizing fasciitis (flesh eating disease).”

There were five deaths in Nova Scotia last year — all over the age of 55. Illness rates are highest among children under 5 and adults 65 and up.

Randy credits the “amazing” support of the community for helping his family get through this difficult time, and he says he just wants to keep other families safe from the potentially devastating consequences of the disease.

Click to play video: 'N.B. woman warns of the dangers of strep A'
N.B. woman warns of the dangers of strep A

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