Condolences are pouring in for a teenage softball player who passed away March 23 from complications due to a streptococcal disease infection — commonly known as strep throat.
Robin Carey, 13, was a standout softball and baseball player in Greater Victoria and a member of Hampton Little League from 2011 to 2017.
According to a post on the club’s Facebook page, Carey was a force to be reckoned with behind the plate, at bat and on first base. She also volunteered with the Hampton’s Challenger Baseball program for two years and competed on a softball team that represented Canada at the Little League Softball World Series in 2016 and 2017.
The Victoria Devils Fastball Club also provided a statement for Carey, who had been with the team the past two seasons:
“Robin was a great person, great teammate, and had a tremendous passion for the game of softball. The entire organization is shaken by this tragic occurrence and our thoughts and prayers go out to Robin’s family, friends, and teammates during this unimaginable time.”
A Go Fund Me campaign has been launched for the family.
The BC Coroner’s Service alerted Island Health March 27 that Carey had an invasive group A streptococcal disease infection at the time of her death. Messaging has gone out to all players and parents who attended a baseball camp alongside Carey in Nanoose Bay last week, hosted by Oceanside Minor Softball.
“It’s tragic for the family, obviously, but also for everyone involved because all the kids knew her,” said Ian Kellow, coach and director for Oceanside Minor Softball. “All these kids play against each other.”
Players and others who were in contact with Carey through a sports or social setting are encouraged to watch for signs and symptoms of strep throat including sore throat, fever, or other respiratory symptoms and to seek treatment if they are feeling ill. Island Health said the spread of infection from routine social or sports contact is low, and taking antibiotics for this type of exposure, if not already showing symptoms, is not recommended.
Only 31 cases of invasive strep A have been reported to Island Health since Jan. 1, 2018. In 2017, there were a total of 49 cases reported and in 2016, 44 cases. The mortality rate for this disease is approximately 20 per cent.
People who had close contact with Carey in the week leading up to her death, including sharing sleeping quarters or living in the same home, or known direct contact with her oral or nasal secretions are eligible for preventative antibiotic treatment, and should see a physician.
If close contact occurred more than seven days ago, antibiotic treatment is not recommended and people should watch for signs and symptoms. However, if more than a week has passed without developing symptoms, it is unlikely that you will fall ill from this exposure.