A HAMPSHIRE dad who had all four limbs amputated and endured facial reconstruction after contracting Strep A has warned parents to be vigilant as a seventh child in the UK has died from the bacterial infection.

Alex Lewis thought he had 'man flu' back in 2013 but collapsed and was rushed to hospital where he was given just a three percent chance of survival. He had contracted Strep A, followed by Septicaemia.

Reports that a 12-year-old schoolboy from London has become the latest child to die after contracting the rare, invasive infection, has brought it all back for the campaigner, fundraiser, and in-demand public speaker.

READ MORE: Strep A: What is it? Symptoms, treatment and how it spreads

Alex, 42, told the Daily Echo: "I saw an interview with the father of a little girl in Alder Hey hospital and that was pretty raw. I can only imagine what he's going through and I know my family went through similar. It's tough.

"It's great that the press is raising awareness. I think it's important that parents don't panic as it is cold and flu season, but with low baseline immunity after two years of not mixing, things are spreading in schools and it's quite a worrying time.

"Don't be afraid to ask for help and advice. We know the NHS is under a lot of pressure, but contact your GP, call 111 or go to A&E if necessary and get your child on antibiotics. 

"It's better to be safe than sorry. I'm very lucky to be here. Don't be afraid to push to have your child seen."

Daily Echo:

Alex, who lives in Stockbridge with his wife Lucy Townsend and nearly 12-year-old son Sam, is the patron of the Lee Spark NF  Foundation, the only UK charity offering help and support to anyone affected by severe streptococcal infections or Necrotising Fasciitis.

Health experts are investigating cases of Strep A infection after the deaths of seven young children and a rise in cases.

Infections caused by Strep A include the skin infection impetigo, scarlet fever and strep throat.

While the vast majority of infections are relatively mild, sometimes the bacteria can cause life-threatening Group A Streptococcal disease.

The bacteria are spread by contact with an infected person or infected skin lesions.

READ MORE: Signs and symptoms of Strep A and Scarlet Fever 

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