Group A Strep and Scarlett Fever
You will be aware of the coverage in the media concerning Group A streptococcus infections, also known as Group A strep, strep A or GAS.
Group A strep is a common bacteria, which many of us carry in our throats and on our skin. It doesn’t always result in illness, but it can cause infections, some mild and some more serious.
More serious infections are caused by the bacteria getting into parts of the body where it’s not usually found, like the lungs or bloodstream. These are usually linked to invasive group A strep also known as iGAS.
iGAS infections are still uncommon, but there has been a slight increase in cases this year nationally, particularly in children under 10, and sadly a small number of deaths. This is understandably very worrying for parents, schools and early years providers.
The increase in cases is being investigated, but is not thought to be because of a new strain of bacteria. It is more likely to be as a result of a number of factors including more social mixing and increases in other respiratory illnesses.
The key messages for parents document attached details the importance of good hand and respiratory hygiene and these will reduce the risk of children picking up or spreading infections and should be encouraged in all settings.