At least six children have died of a common bacterial infection, Strep A also called as invasive Group A Strep (iGAS), in the United Kingdom.
About Strep A
- Strep A, the symptoms of which include fever, skin rashes and a sore easily treated with antibiotics.
- However, there is a chance the infection can get severe when the bacteria enters the bloodstream.
- This is called invasive Group A Strep (iGAS).
- Most often, symptoms are mild – a sore throat or a skin infection that can be easily treated with antibiotics.
- But strep A can cause a range of things – and some of them are more serious.
- One is scarlet fever, which mostly affects young children and, again, needs antibiotics.
- It usually manifests as high fever, severe muscle aches, pain in an area of the body and unexplained vomiting or diarrhoea.
- Typically, one-two children die of iGAS every winter, government health agency data showed.
- In children under 10 years, the rate of iGAS infection is higher than levels reported in the years preceding the COVID-19 pandemic but substantially higher than the past two years.
Back to Basics
What is scarlet fever?
- It is a notifiable disease, meaning health professionals must inform local health protection teams of suspected cases.
- This is so they can be treated quickly and possible outbreaks brought under control.
- It causes a rash and flu-like symptoms, including a temperature, sore throat and swollen neck glands.
- On darker skin the rash can be more difficult to detect visually but will have a sandpapery feel.
- Someone who has scarlet fever may have what doctors call a strawberry tongue – because its appearance looks a bit like a strawberry.
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