Strep A infection
A secondary school student in East Sussex has died from suspected strep A, according to officials. The death of a student in Brighton from suspected strep A brings the total to 16. Most strep A infections are minor, but more severe invasive cases, while still uncommon, are on the rise.
Since September, 15 UK children had died as a result of invasive strep A infections.
According to a joint statement from the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) and Brighton & Hove City Council, the child attended Hove Park School in Hove.
Public health officials in Brighton and Hove said they were collaborating with the school to educate parents about the symptoms of strep A infections and what to do if their child gets one. The child’s age and gender have not been revealed.
“We are extremely saddened to hear about the death of a young child,” said Dr. Rachael Hornigold, consultant in health protection at UKHSA South East. “Our thoughts are with their family, friends, and the local community.”
“We are working with the UK Health Security Agency and Hove Park School following the death of a pupil who attended the school” Alistair Hill, director of Public Health at Brighton & Hove City Council, said.
Mild strep is usually harmless. Symptoms of an infection include a sore throat and skin infections. The bug can also cause scarlet fever, which is characterized by a sore throat, a sandpaper-like skin rash, a high temperature, and a so-called “strawberry tongue.”
Antibiotics are used to treat it, which may help reduce the risk of complications and the spread of the bug.
Group Streptococcal (GAS) infections are caused by strains of the bacterium Streptococcus pyogenes.
The bacteria can survive on hands or throats long enough to spread easily between people via sneezing, kissing, and skin contact. The majority of infections result in minor illnesses such as “strep throat” or skin infections. It can also cause scarlet fever, which is usually treated with antibiotics.
On rare occasions, bacteria infiltrate deeper into the body, infecting the lungs and bloodstream. It is known as invasive GAS (iGAS), and it requires immediate treatment because it can be serious and life-threatening.
Symptoms of Strep A
Most symptoms are minor, such as a sore throat or a skin infection that can be treated with antibiotics.
However, strep A can cause a variety of problems, some of which are more serious.
Scarlet fever, for example, primarily affects young children and, once again, requires antibiotics.
It is a notifiable disease, which means that health professionals must report suspected cases to local health protection teams. This is done so that they can be treated quickly and any outbreaks can be contained.
It causes a rash as well as flu-like symptoms such as a fever, sore throat, and swollen neck glands.
The rash may be more difficult to detect visually on darker skin, but it will have a sandpapery feel.
Scarlet fever patients may have a strawberry tongue, so named because it resembles a strawberry in appearance.
According to UKHSA data as of Thursday, 13 children under the age of 15 had died in England since September.
Two more child deaths had been reported in Belfast and Wales, bringing the UK total to 15 at the time.
Mr. Hill stated that catching strep A from another person is “extremely rare,” and that most people who come into contact with strep A infections “remain well and symptom-free – so there is no reason for children to be kept home if well.”
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