01/26/2015 05:50 EST | Updated 03/28/2015 05:59 EDT

Young Boy Dies Of Infection Caused By 'Common Bacteria'

Health officials are advising parents that a child who attended an east-end daycare centre has died of a bacteria-related infection.

Dr. Irene Armstrong, an associate medical officer of health with the City of Toronto, wrote a letter to the parents and staff of Woodfield Day Care last Thursday advising that a child had died of an infection caused by the bacteria known as group A streptococcus (GAS).

The letter indicates that GAS is "a common bacteria" that can cause strep throat, skin infections, scarlet fever and tonsillitis.

"On rare occasions, GAS can cause more severe illnesses such as toxic shock and necrotizing fasciitis (flesh-eating disease)," the letter says.

The city has released a fact sheet detailing the symptoms of so-called severe invasive GAS.

Those symptoms, as listed in the release, include:

- Necrotizing fasciitis and myositis — fever, severe pain, swelling and/or redness of part of the body

- Meningitis — fever, headache, severe neck pain, nausea and/or vomiting

- Streptococcal toxic shock syndrome — fever, a general feeling of unwellness, dizziness, confusion and/or a flat, red rash on the body

Officials are advising the daycare staff and parents of the children to seek "prompt medical attention" should they or their children attending the daycare develop an illness with fever, or any of these symptoms within 30 days of contact with a person diagnosed with invasive GAS.

Doctors should be instructed that the individual has been in contact with someone diagnosed with invasive GAS disease and developed symptoms.

Death occurred nearly two weeks ago

The letter from the city does not indicate the date on which the child died, nor the age of that child.

However, Eileen Levy, the vice-president of family and neighbourhood services at WoodGreen Community Services, told CBC News that the child was a three-year-old boy.

Levy said the boy was found to be running a fever on Jan. 13, at which time his parents were called and he was picked up. He did not return to the daycare centre after this point and died at home four days later.

According to Levy, approximately 100 children attend Woodfield Day Care. She said the daycare centre has very high standards of care and the facilities are regularly disinfected as part of standard practices.

Woodfield Day Care is located within the Duke of Connaught Public School, in the Coxwell Avenue and Queen Street East area.


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