Mum’s warning as baby left convulsing in hospital after unnoticeable bug bite on camping trip

A MUM has put out a warning to other parents after her baby ended up convulsing in hospital from an invisible bug bite.

Bec Kinross, 39, was camping with her family at a caravan park in Victoria, Australia, when her baby Sam was bitten.

Sam was hospitalized for a month after being infected with JEV

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Sam was hospitalized for a month after being infected with JEVCredit: GoFundme
Bec warned other mothers out there to stay vigilant outdoors

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Bec warned other mothers out there to stay vigilant outdoorsCredit: GoFundme

Unusually, the four-month-old didn’t display any obvious signs of mosquito bites after the incident on January 26, according to 7news.

However, her son started developing symptoms two weeks later, including a 38C high fever and a seizure, so she rang the emergency number.

Bec said: “I was absolutely numb. The ambulance took 20 to 25 minutes to get here and I honestly didn’t think they would make it in time.”

Sam was taken to intensive care at The Royal Children’s Hospital and was initially diagnosed with viral meningitis.

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But on Wednesday, doctors confirmed the tot had contracted the dangerous Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV).

The disease caused by the virus has already claimed two lives in Australia.

Bec said that she couldn’t remember spotting a mosquito on Sam while they enjoyed their family getaway with her partner Luke.

She said: “Looking back at the trip, I never saw a mozzie on him the whole time we were camping.

“I didn’t even notice a mozzie bite on Sam. There were no bites seen on him in the two weeks leading up or after at all.

“He had a hot head and back – hot enough to make the wet washer we used on his head get hot really quickly and we kept having to change it.”

Sam woke up at around 10.30pm with stiff arms and limp lower limbs.

“He woke up from a sleep on me in our bed with bright eyes,” Bec says.

“Sam was staring at what I thought was our ceiling fan but then his eyes deviated to the left and he was stiff in the arms and his lower limbs were limp.

“He started convulsing so we called triple-0. Luke was a lot more calm because he knew I was a mess and he had to take charge.”

At the time, no one knew anything about infected mosquitos spreading Japanese encephalitis virus.

“It wasn’t until we were home, continuing care with the hospital with daily visits, that the doctor called to confirm the JEV results came back positive,” Bec said.

By sharing her son’s story, Bec wants to remind parents to be extra vigilant when outdoors.

“Dress in long clothing and use repellent,” she advised.

“To all the mums out there, always trust your mummy instinct.”

Sam – who’s now five months old – is better after a month of care from the hospital but still requires fortnightly visits to the doctor.

The mum said: “My anxiety levels are at an all-time high, all day every day, worrying because this variant of encephalitis is unknown territory for Australia.

“It breaks my heart seeing our usual smiley and bubbly Sam go through this.”

“Day by day…week by week we need to watch his progress and milestones,” she said.

JEV is only spread by infected mosquitoes and is more common in rural areas.

It cannot be transmitted from human to human, or by eating meat from an infected animal.

Most cases of Japanese encephalitis in people are asymptomatic but those with severe infection may experience a coma or in rare cases, death.

Bec also urged parents to sign up for ambulance cover for their babies after the family were slapped with a hefty bill.

She said: “We didn’t have hospital cover for Sam as yet because it’s not something that is in the front of your mind so early on.”

“As parents we are told to register with Medicare, Centrelink for paid parental leave and health check appointments – but never a reminder to join ambulance cover.

“And now we are left with a bill for Sam’s triple-0 call.”

The family have set up a GoFundMe page to help cover their bills.

Sam is much better now but still requires fortnightly care from doctors

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Sam is much better now but still requires fortnightly care from doctorsCredit: GoFundme
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