Mother died of rare bacterial infection

Karen Cook
Karen Cook
Saxon, right, and handler Graham Howlett

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A MOTHER of five who died suddenly after falling ill on a school trip was killed by a rare bacterial infection, an inquest heard.

Teaching assistant Karen Cook, 41, of Bridgemary Avenue in Gosport, died from pneumococcal sepsis hours after she started to feel unwell on an outing to the New Forest.

It is not known how she contracted the infection, but medical experts believe she may have inhaled the bacteria.

Doctors initially struggled to find evidence of what caused the infection despite carrying out numerous tests and a post mortem examination.

It was only after samples were sent to a specialist clinic in Manchester the bacteria was found.

Mrs Cook, who died at Southampton General Hospital on March 5, was a teaching assistant at Newton Primary School in Gosport.

The deputy coroner for Southampton, Gordon Denson, recorded a verdict of death by natural causes at the inquest today.