Minnesota: invasive Group A Streptococcal (iGAS) infections double in November


by NewsDesk Laugh

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) reports, based on preliminary data, there were twice as many iGAS cases reported in November as in other months (46 in November so far compared to an average of 20 cases/month in 2022).

Group A Streptococcus (GAS) / CDC

Data are based on statewide surveillance of iGAS infections defined as gases isolated from a sterile site of the body (eg, blood, CSF, pleural fluid, bone, joint, muscle), streptococcal toxic shock syndrome, or necrotizing fasciitis.

To date, cases occurring in the community are not known to be epidemiologically linked and there are no clear geographic patterns of disease. Increases in cases have been observed in all age groups but the increase is most noticeable in pediatric patients and the elderly and may be related to increased activity of the respiratory virus.

Group A streptococcal infection can cause a range of illnesses ranging from mild or moderate (eg, pharyngitis, skin and soft tissue infections) to severe disease (eg, pneumonia, bacteremia, streptococcal toxic shock syndrome) [STSS]and necrotizing fasciitis). These severe infections have a high fatality rate. Individuals at greater risk for severe or invasive IGAS include the elderly or immunocompromised, people with medical conditions including diabetes, malignancies, chronic kidney, heart, or respiratory disease, and those with From skin diseases, injuries, surgical wounds, injection drug use, or varicella infection and people with homelessness.

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GAS infections can spread rapidly in congregate settings including long-term care facilities, homeless shelters, and more. In these settings, when an iGAS case is identified, there is often an unrecognized invasive, non-invasive infection.

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