UK reports increase in scarlet fever, invasive Group A strep

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by NewsDesk Laugh

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) has reported increases in scarlet fever and group A streptococcus (iGAS) this year.

photo/dinky123uk

Regarding scarlet fever, after higher-than-expected scarlet fever activity in the summer in England, with a decrease during August, notifications during the first part of the current season (2022 to 2023; seasons are set from mid-September to mid-September) increase again and remain higher than what we usually see at this time of year.

A total of 4,622 scarlet fever notifications were received from week 37 to 46 this season (2022 to 2023) in England, with 851 notifications received in week 46. This compares to an average of 1,294 (range 258 to 2,008) for the same period (weeks 37 to 46) in the previous five years.

Scarlet fever is caused by bacteria called group A streptococci. These bacteria also cause other respiratory and skin infections such as strep throat and impetigo.

Scarlet fever is usually a mild illness, but it is highly contagious. So, look out for your child’s symptoms, which include sore throat, headache, and fever, along with a mild, pink or red rash with the feel of sandpaper. On darker skin, the rash may be difficult to spot visually but will have a sandpaper texture. Contact NHS 111 or your doctor if you suspect your child has scarlet fever, as early treatment of scarlet fever with antibiotics is important to reduce the risk of complications such as pneumonia or bloodstream infections. If your child has scarlet fever, keep them home until at least 24 hours after starting antibiotic treatment to avoid spreading the infection to others.

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In addition, group A streptococci can sometimes (rarely) enter the bloodstream and cause a disease called invasive group A streptococci (iGAS).

Although still uncommon, there has been an increase in invasive group A streptococcal infections this year, particularly in children under the age of 10. iGAS The disease has been reported through laboratory surveillance in England

Also, 5 deaths were recorded within 7 days of today iGAS Diagnosis in children under 10 years of age in England. During the last peak season for group A streptococcus infection (2017 to 2018), there were 4 deaths among children under 10 years of age in the same period.

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