A pupil at a Hove school has died from Strep A, it has been confirmed.
The Argus understands that the girl, who was a pupil at Hove Park School on Hangleton Way, was 12 and that they were taken to the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital after being referred by her GP.
Specialists from the UK Health Security Agency and Brighton and Hove City Council are working with the school to provide advice on any public health measures needed and to ensure accurate information is shared with the school community.
dr Rachael Hornigold, Health Protection Advisor at UKHSA South East, said: “We are extremely saddened to hear of the death of a young child and our thoughts are with her family, friends and the local community.
“Infection with group A Streptococcus bacteria usually causes a sore throat, scarlet fever or skin rash and is transmitted by physical contact or droplets from sneezing or coughing.
“In very rare cases, the infection can become invasive and enter parts of the body where bacteria are not normally found, which can be serious.
“We will be conducting public health actions, including advising the City Council and the school community.”
As of Monday, 26 children in Sussex had been infected with the disease, but that number is now thought to be higher.
Alistair Hill, director of public health at Brighton & Hove City Council, said: “We are working with the UK Health Authority (UKHSA) and Hove Park School following the death of a pupil who was attending the school.
“We send our deepest condolences to the family, friends and the entire school community, who will all be deeply saddened by the very tragic loss of this young child, and we offer them our support at this incredibly sad time. While we cannot comment on individual cases, we ask that family privacy be respected.
“As a precaution, we have also worked closely with the school to make parents and carers aware of the signs and symptoms of group A strep infections and what to do if a child develops these, including the invasive strep disease -Group A disease (iGAS).
“I would like to emphasize that contracting iGAS disease from another person is very rare. Most people who come into contact with group A streptococcal infections remain healthy and symptom-free – and therefore there is no reason to keep children at home if they are healthy. However, if you feel your child seems seriously unwell, please contact NHS 111.”
Group A streptococci can cause many different infections, ranging from mild illnesses to fatal illnesses.
Diseases caused by Strep A include impetigo, scarlet fever, and strep throat.
While the vast majority of infections are relatively mild, the bacteria can sometimes cause a life-threatening illness called invasive group A streptococcal disease.
Infections are spread through close contact with an infected person and can be spread through coughing and sneezing or through a wound.
The bacteria live in some people’s bodies without causing symptoms, but they can still pass the bacteria on to others.
Some viral infections, such as the common cold or flu, open sores or sores, and a weakened immune system can increase your risk of infection.
Adults can get Strep A, but the disease is more common in children.
You can reduce your chances of contracting or spreading the disease by washing your hands frequently with soap and water, covering your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough and sneeze, and discarding used tissues as soon as possible.
The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) said there was currently no evidence a new strain was circulating and the rise in cases was most likely due to high levels of circulating bacteria and increased social mixing.
dr Colin Brown, deputy director of the UKHSA, said scarlet fever and strep throat are common childhood illnesses that could be treated with antibiotics.
He said: “Very rarely, the bacteria can enter the bloodstream and cause a more serious disease called invasive group A streptococcus.
“We know this is of concern to parents but I would like to stress that while this is showing an increase in cases among children this remains very unusual.
“There are many winter bugs out there that can make your child uncomfortable, most of which are not a cause for concern.
“However, make sure you talk to a doctor if your child gets worse after a bout of scarlet fever, a sore throat or a respiratory infection — watch out for signs like a fever that won’t go down, dehydration, extreme tiredness and trouble breathing.”
Earlier this week, Brighton and Hove City Council wrote to parents to urge them to recognize the symptoms of the disease.
Symptoms of a sore throat can include a sore throat, pain when swallowing, fever, red and swollen tonsils, severe muscle pain, tiny red spots on the roof of your mouth, and swollen lymph nodes in the front of the throat.
However, a cough, runny nose, hoarseness, or conjunctivitis are typically not included, as these are more likely to be caused by a virus than a Strep A infection.
Pharmacists across the country have taken to Twitter to complain about the lack of access to antibiotics, including the liquid version of penicillin often given to children.
However, Health Secretary Steve Barclay said inspections within the Department of Health had not revealed any problem with the supply of medicines.
Hove Park School, UKHSA and University Hospital Sussex NHS Foundation Trust have been asked for comment.
https://www.theargus.co.uk/news/23182065.hove-pupil-dies-strep—brighton-council-statement/?ref=rss Hove pupil dies of Strep A – Brighton City Council statement