Lawyers look into Birmingham TB girl's death

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The family of a 15-year-old girl who died from tuberculosis (TB) have contacted lawyers to investigate circumstances surrounding her death.

Alina Sarag, a pupil at Golden Hillock School in Sparkhill, Birmingham, died on 6 January.

She had been treated for TB, and was seen at Birmingham Chest Clinic, in October 2009. She then went to visit Pakistan and was sick upon her return.

Heart of Birmingham Primary Care Trust is also investigating.

'Gastric illness'

Her mother, Fahrat Mahmood, said: "My daughter had a very short life and we do not want this to happen to any other child in any other family."

A spokesman for law firm Irwin Mitchell said following her return from holiday in August 2010, Alina fell ill and developed a cough.

A GP diagnosed gastric illness according to the firm. Over the next five months she was seen on a number of occasions and at various hospitals.

She was not tested again for TB, the spokesman said.

She was admitted to hospital in the early hours of 6 January where TB was diagnosed, but died later that day.

The BBC had already learnt that a health official had a discussion with her mother in October, when the mother told the official Alina had been diagnosed with TB.

Earlier, the Heart of Birmingham Trust said it was taking the death "extremely seriously" and was going to go over all the facts and all the contact Alina had, in terms of her health care, in the months preceding her death.

The trust did not rule out the possibility of an independent inquiry.

Alina was described by her family as a fun-loving girl, who lived life to the full, was fashion-conscious, outgoing and energetic.

"She will be badly missed by her family," they said.

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