• Tuesday, February 07, 2023

HEADLINE STORY

Buckinghamshire school pays tribute to “constantly smiling’ four-year-old boy who died of Strep A

By: Chandrashekar Bhat

A Buckinghamshire school has paid tribute to its four-year-old pupil who died of Strep A last month as the bacterial infection has resulted in six fatalities in the UK this season.

Muhammad Ibrahim Ali, who was studying at Oakridge School and Nursery, died at his home in High Wycombe on November 14 after experiencing a cardiac arrest.

As his family is struggling to come to terms with the irreparable loss, his school said it was working with the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) to prevent the further spread of the infection and its classrooms had been deep-cleaned.

Its head teacher Stuart Cook described Ali as a “friendly” and “constantly smiling” boy who was always active and who had “lots of energy”.

Recalling how the “kind” child loved to help his friends, he said the school would “miss him terribly”.

“We have been touched by the response from the Oakridge School Community who have shared their condolences and laid flowers,” Leicestershire Live quoted the head teacher as saying.

Crowdfunding platform JustGiving raised £4,513 as of Monday evening to create a “lasting memorial” for the child at the school.

Cook said the memorial would make sure the boy “will always have a place here.”

“The children have had some lovely thoughts about how we can remember and celebrate Ibrahim’s time here at Oakridge, he said, adding “we will miss him dearly.”

The school was working closely with the Health Security Agency officials “who have done a thorough risk assessment of the school and we have been following their advice in order to keep everyone safe,” the head teacher said.

He said the school was advising parents to monitor their children for Strep A symptoms – sore throat, headache and fever along with pinkish or red body rash.

“We have deep cleaned the classrooms,” Cook said.

The UKHSA said on Friday that there had been five Strep A-related deaths in England in the preceding seven days.

It, however, said there was no evidence that showed a new strain was circulating.

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