Conor Kerin Memorial Fund - Title Graphic                                                                                                                      >

Funding research and promoting awareness of Streptococcus A infections
& their link with childhood diseases such as Chicken Pox


Strep A

Chicken Pox


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Conor was a healthy little boy approaching his first birthday when he got Chicken Pox. No problem, we thought, better to get it out of the way. Five days later he was dead. He contracted a Strep A infection as a side effect of Chicken Pox which went undiagnosed by several doctors. It took just 48 hours to kill him.

Strep A is commonly found in our throats but serious 'invasive' infections are rare, however they are on the increase. It is an opportunistic bug that tends to attack the body when it is busy fighting another disease.

Children with Chicken Pox are particularly vulnerable as CP suppresses their immune systems and leaves them with open sores through which Strep A can enter. That's why the US routinely vaccinate for Chicken Pox.

Invasive Strep A infections share a number of symptoms with Meningitis, but are usually more deadly. They can develop into a range of conditions which include Necrotising Fasciitis (the so called 'Flesh Eating' bug), Toxic Shock Syndrome and Septicaemia, which is what Conor died from in the end.

Official figures imply there are over 2000 cases of Invasive Strep A infection in the UK each year, with a 15-50% death rate depending on their exact nature. However, the true number may be much higher as mis-diagnosis is a common problem.

Strep A can be treated with antibiotics, if it's recognised in time. However, awareness levels need to be raised, both among the general public and front line medical staff, as was done for Meningitis. Also, there is an urgent need for more research, in order to provide better methods of diagnosis, prevention and cure.

We started Conor's Fund to address both these issues. Through this web site, displays at fund raising events and occasional media articles, Conor's Fund seeks to promote awareness of Strep infections, their symptoms and possible consequences.

Conor's Fund also provides financial support to the GPMP (Sepsis) Research Group at Hammersmith Hospital and Imperial College, one of the few research groups in the UK working to combat Strep infections.

If Conor's fund saves one life, it will have been worth it. Please help us if you can.

NB No costs are taken from the fund - every penny donated goes straight to the research team.

Registered Charity No: 1117701