Strep A outbreak claims four more children. Here’s what you should know to stay safe.
A further four children have died from Strep A in the UK, bringing the death toll to 30 since mid-September. It is worrying for several reasons, one of which is that cases have also been discovered in America. “A total of 122 people have died in England from the invasive form of the bacterial infection, according to data from the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA),” he says BBC. “We continue to see increases in scarlet fever and strep throat and this is understandably a concern for parents. However, I would like to emphasize that the condition is easily treated with antibiotics and it is very rare for a child to become pregnant more seriously ill,” said Dr. Obaghe Edeghere, the UKHSA incident director, in a statement. “Many diseases circulate over the winter that can make children sick, so it is important to avoid contact with other people if you are unwell, wash your hands regularly and thoroughly and catch coughs and sneezes in a handkerchief. I would also urge all those who are entitled to free winter vaccinations to take advantage of them. Read on to learn everything you need to know about Strep A and how to stay safe.
Patients have invasive group A streptococcal infection
Invasive group A streptococcal infection (iGAS) is a serious and potentially life-threatening infection caused by the bacterium Streptococcus pyogenes, also known as group A streptococci. These bacteria are found in the throat, skin, and airways and can be spread through close contact with infected people or through contact with contaminated surfaces or objects.
iGAS can cause different symptoms depending on the site of infection and the severity of the infection. Some common symptoms of iGAS include fever, chills, fatigue, muscle pain, and sore throat. In severe cases, iGAS can cause sepsis (a life-threatening reaction to infection that can lead to organ failure) or necrotizing fasciitis (a rare but serious infection that causes soft tissue death).
How iGas is diagnosed
To diagnose iGAS, healthcare providers may perform a physical exam, order laboratory tests (such as a culture of the infected area), or use imaging tests (such as X-rays or CT scans) to assess the extent of the infection.
Treatment for iGAS usually includes antibiotics and may also include hospitalization and supportive measures (such as fluids and pain relievers). In severe cases, surgery may be needed to remove infected tissue.
iGas is more common in children
iGAS can affect people of any age but is more common in children and older adults. Risk factors for iGAS include a weakened immune system, close contact with an infected person, and underlying medical conditions such as diabetes or chronic lung disease.
There are several reasons why invasive group A streptococcal infection (iGAS) is more common in children.
First, children may be more likely to be exposed to group A streptococci, which can be transmitted through close contact with infected people or through contact with contaminated surfaces or objects. Children may be more likely to have close contact with others, e.g. B. at school, kindergarten or extracurricular activities, which can increase their risk of infection with iGAS.
In addition, children’s immune systems are still developing, which can make them more susceptible to infections. Children may also be more likely to have underlying health conditions, such as asthma or a weakened immune system, which can increase their risk of iGAS.
Finally, children are more likely to engage in certain behaviors that may increase their risk of iGAS, such as B. Poor hand hygiene or difficulty covering your mouth and nose when sneezing or coughing.
Collectively, these factors may contribute to the higher prevalence of iGAS in children compared to adults. It is important that parents and carers take steps to protect children from iGAS, e.g. B. by teaching good hygiene practices and seeing a doctor if a child shows symptoms of the infection.
The CDC is tracking Strep A in America
“The CDC is investigating an increase in invasive group A streptococcal infection (iGAS) among children in the United States CDC. “We have never seen strep cause so many deaths,” said Meena Iyer, chief medical officer at Dell Children’s Medical Center ABC. “We’re trying to understand…is it the strain, has the bacteria gotten smarter and more resistant to treatment like we’ve seen with the flu and RSV?”
This is the safest way to stay
Preventing iGAS requires proper hygiene practices, such as B. washing your hands frequently and covering your mouth and nose when sneezing or coughing. People with iGAS should also use good infection control measures, such as B. Avoiding close contact with others until they have been treated and are no longer contagious.
“Most winter illnesses can be treated at home and NHS.UK has information to help parents look after children with minor illnesses. However, please make sure to talk to a doctor if you think your child is getting worse, e.g. “Eating less than normal, being dehydrated, having a high temperature that won’t go down, being very hot and sweaty, or appearing more tired or irritable than normal,” said Dr. Edeghere.
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