Mother warns parents of daughter's 'sunburn-like' Strep A symptoms

Mother, 33, warns fellow parents of her six-year-old daughter’s ‘sunburn-like’ Strep A symptoms which left doctors stumped for weeks before she was finally diagnosed with the infection

  • Sadie Larmonth said daughter Khloe, 6, look ‘sunburned’ after getting Strep A
  • Her unusual symptoms stumped doctors so she wasn’t diagnosed for 3 weeks
  • Khloe, from Irvine, Scotland, had a bright red and itchy rash from head to toe

A Scottish mother has revealed her six-year-old daughter looked ‘sunburned’ and broke out in a ‘head to toe rash’ as an unusual symptom after she contracted Strep A.

Sadie Learmonth said her daughter Khloe was struck with the potentially deadly illness in September – and doctors were unable to diagnose her for weeks.

The 33-year-old, from Irvine, North Ayrshire warned fellow parents as she shared the details of her daughter’s Strep A symptoms – as cases of the disease rise in Scotland.

Ms Learmonth first noticed a lump on Khloe’s neck before she later developed a sore throat and her skin turned bright red, itchy and flaky.

Khloe, six, from Irvine, North Ayrshire was looked ‘sunburned’ after contracting Strep A

Sadie Learmonth (left), 33, said her daughter Khloe (right) was struck with with potentially deadly illness in September – and doctors were unable to diagnose her for weeks


After getting Strep A, Khloe got a red ‘head to toe rash’ (left). Three months on Khloe is on the mend, but is still battling with stubborn red patches on her feet which have yet to disappear

The worried mother says she took Khloe to the GP surgery three times in three weeks, but that the doctors were unable to identify her symptoms as Strep A, leaving the schoolgirl feeling ‘ugly and paranoid’ about the state of her body.

Ms Learmonth said: ‘Khloe was so upset and distressed about her skin. She wouldn’t hug me, her dad or her one-year-old brother in case she passed the condition on. She kept saying she was ugly and was paranoid about people staring at her rash.

‘I was crying my eyes out constantly because the doctors didn’t know what was wrong with her.’

Ms Learmonth told how medics first thought Khloe’s symptoms were down to a simple cold, before saying it might be impetigo – a contagious skin infection that often starts with sores or blisters on the skin.

But after the youngster failed to improved with the antibiotics prescribed to help her, a third trip to the GP eventually led to a diagnosis of Scarlet Fever – a condition caused by the Strep A infection.

Three months on Khloe is on the mend, but is still battling with stubborn red patches on her feet which have yet to disappear.


Ms Learmonth first noticed a lump on Khloe’s neck before she later developed a sore throat and her skin turned bright red, itchy and flaky

A painful red rash caused by Strep A on Khloe’s arm

Ms Learmonth now says that she is grateful that the burnt appearance of Khloe’s skin provided a ‘physical’ symptom of the infection she could see and seek help for.

She explained that her daughter had otherwise shown very little sign that she had been struck down with what the mother now knows can be a life-threatening illness after the deaths of a number of children have been reported on around the UK.

Ms Learmonth added: ‘If that physical symptom wasn’t there, I wouldn’t have noticed there was anything wrong with her and I’d ask other parents to please keep an eye out for these signs.

Vicki Campbell, Head of Primary and Urgent Care Services, said: ‘NHS Ayrshire & Arran cannot comment on individual cases due to patient confidentiality. We would encourage anyone with any concerns about the care or treatment provided to contact us directly. This allows us to investigate and provide feedback.’

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