6 Children Died From Strep A Bacterial Infection In England

Since September, 6 children under the age of 10 have died in England from an invasive illness brought on by Strep A, according to the UK Health Security Agency.

Additionally, a Welsh girl perished. In Scotland and Northern Ireland, no fatalities have been reported.

Strep A infections are typically not dangerous, but they can.

The UKHSA has suggested that parents who are concerned about their child’s symptoms seek medical help. Invasive Group A Strep instances have increased this year, albeit they remain rare, especially in children under the age of 10.

One kid from Ashford, Surrey, and another from Ealing, west London, are among those who have perished as a result of the infection. Muhammad Ibrahim Ali, a four-year-old kid from High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, also passed away last month.

Hanna Roap, a primary school student from Penarth in the Vale of Glamorgan, also perished as a result of the infection.

Group A Strep infections frequently have few symptoms, such as sore throats or skin infections.

The infection can also cause scarlet fever, which is typically successfully treated with antibiotics and results in a full recovery for those who contract it.

The disease known as invasive Group A Streptococcus (iGAS), which is far more difficult to treat, can be brought on in a very tiny percentage of instances when Group A Strep infection spreads further into the body, such as into the lungs and circulation.

Dr. Colin Brown, deputy director of the UKHSA, lists a number of signs that could indicate an invasive infection, including high fever, low appetite, dehydration, changing behavior, and feeling extremely drowsy.

In order to cure their child and prevent the illness from turning serious, he has recommended parents to be alert for these symptoms and “consult a doctor as fast as possible.”

Following a case of scarlet fever, a sore throat, or a respiratory infection, “make sure you talk to a health expert,” he advised parents.

In contrast to this year’s five child fatalities during the same time period, there were four during the most recent high season for invasive Group A Strep infection, in 2017–18.

According to the UKHSA, the most likely causes of the most recent increase are high levels of the bug that are circulating and increased social mixing.

Honorary clinical senior lecturer Dr. Elizabeth Whittaker at Imperial College London said: “We saw very little Group A Strep during the first two years of the pandemic, and in 2022 after restrictions were loosened, it started to spread once more.

“Typically, late spring or the beginning of summer is when we see the most cases, frequently following chickenpox infections. The unusually high numbers at this time of year are likely a result of the fact that normal seasonality has not yet resumed.

“Tragically, severe cases will also develop when there are lots of infections. Since group A strep infections coincide with the peak of the seasonal winter respiratory viruses, we are likely seeing more pneumonia than usual.”

The UKHSA is also looking into reports of an increase in chest infections brought on by Group A Strep that have resulted in serious illness over the past few weeks as part of its investigations.

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