The parents of a little girl with a "beautiful soul" who died after contracting invasive strep A infection have said their hearts have “broken into a million pieces.”

Hanna Roap, aged seven, tragically died 24 hours after becoming ill with the infection leaving behind her parents and older sister.

Hanna attended Victoria Primary School in Penarth; prayers have been held at the school after Hanna’s tragic death.

Penarth Times: Hanna's parents said their little girl had a beautiful soulHanna's parents said their little girl had a beautiful soul (Image: Wales News Service)

Hanna's parents said their little girl had a "beautiful soul." Picture: Wales News Service

Mum Salah and dad Abul, both 37, said: "As most of you will be wondering what the cause of death was and to prevent misinformation, Hanna passed away as a result of contracting Strep A.

“It all happened suddenly (within 24 hours)."

Hanna died on November 25 after contracting the invasive infection that has symptoms including high fever, vomiting and a sore throat.

Hanna’s parents have thanked Victoria Primary School and their neighbours since the death of their daughter.

Salah and Abul said: "Thank you to everyone for your overwhelming support. Thank you for all the flowers, cards and donations. Thank you for all the hugs and tears. Your kindness reminds us that there is good amongst immense tragedy.

"We are sorry we have not responded to any messages, texts, emails and calls. Sorry if we are unable to make eye contact if we see you walking by. Our hearts have been broken into a million pieces. Our only priority is the welfare of Hanna’s 8-year-old sister & best friend.

"We have been stunned by the volume of donations we have received. We were not expecting this. This is testament to the wonderful caring people of Penarth. We will be donating all of this to charity."

Friends are collecting money for a charity of the family's choice - and have already trebled the target of £500.

One friend said: "Such tragic news. Love to the whole family."

Parents are being warned to look for signs of a Strep A infection.

Penarth Times: Outside Victoria Primary School, PenarthOutside Victoria Primary School, Penarth (Image: Street View)

Outside Victoria Primary School, Penarth. Picture: Street View

In a joint statement from the council said: “Earlier this week, it was confirmed that a pupil from Victoria Primary School had tragically passed away after contracting Strep A.

“Both the school and Council would like to pass on their heartfelt condolences to the family at this incredibly difficult time.

“Support is being provided to staff and pupils by the Council’s team of Educational Psychologists and information from Public Health Wales has been circulated to parents where appropriate.

“It is unlikely that other pupils will be affected by the illness and severe symptoms are extremely rare. Sensible precautions such as regular hand washing and not attending school when ill can reduce the risk of infection.

“If someone who has been in contact with an individual with Strep A develops any of the following symptoms: High fever, severe muscle aches, pain in one area of the body, redness at the site of a wound, vomiting or diarrhoea, a sore throat or tonsillitis, a mild skin infection such as impetigo or a rash, they should contact their GP immediately.”

Public Health Wales have offered their deepest  condolences to the family, friends and all those affected.

Dr Ardiana Gjini, Consultant in Communicable Disease Control for Public Health Wales, said:

“Public Health Wales is working with Cardiff and Vale University Health Board and the Vale of Glamorgan Council following the death of a pupil at Victoria Primary School, Penarth.  We offer our deepest condolences to the family, friends and all those affected. 

“Public Health Wales cannot comment on individual cases, and we ask that the privacy of the family is respected.

“Public Health Wales is working closely with the school to raise awareness as appropriate about invasive Group A Streptococcal disease (iGAS).

“Although it is unlikely that their child will be affected by iGAS infection, relevant individuals are being advised that they should familiarise themselves with the symptoms and what to do if these symptoms occur. 

“Contracting iGAS disease from a contact is very rare.  Most people who come into contact with Group A Streptococcal Infection remain well and symptom-free, or develop mild throat or skin infections.”

The symptoms of iGas can include:

  • Fever (a high temperature above 38°C)
  • Sore throat or tonsillitis
  • Severe muscle aches
  • Localised muscle tenderness
  • Redness at the site of a wound

Earlier this week a 6-year-old child at a school in Surrey died after Strep A outbreak