Fifteen children under the age of 15 have died from invasive Strep A disease in the UK.
New data released by Britain’s health agency shows 13 of 15 children have died in England since September.
There was also one death in Northern Ireland and one in Wales.
Group A streptococci can cause many different infections, ranging from mild illnesses to fatal illnesses.
According to the UKHSA, there is currently no evidence of a new strain circulating and the rise in cases is most likely due to high levels of circulating bacteria and increasing social mixing.
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It comes as pharmacists continue to take to Twitter to complain about shortages in access to antibiotics, including the liquid version of penicillin commonly given to children.
Health Secretary Steve Barclay insisted on Wednesday that inspections within the Department of Health had revealed no problem with the supply of the drugs.
However, the National Pharmacy Association has pointed to “blips” in the liquid penicillin supply chain, while the Association of Independent Multiple Pharmacies said pharmacists across the country have struggled to source everything they need.
What is Strep A?
Group A Streptococci (or Strep A) are known to cause scarlet fever, throat infections and, very rarely, invasive disease.
This can occur when bacteria get into parts of the body where bacteria aren’t normally found, such as the B. blood, muscles or lungs.
It can happen when the bacteria overcome a person’s defenses, e.g. B. through an open wound or when a person’s immune system is exhausted.
Most people who come into contact with the bacteria remain healthy and symptom-free.
Strep A Symptoms
The bacteria can be found in the throat and on the skin, and people can carry them without showing any symptoms.
It can live in throats and on hands long enough to allow easy transmission between people through sneezing, kissing, and skin-to-skin contact.
Invasive Strep A can cause other complications. Symptoms include:
- high fever
- severe muscle pain
- localized muscle tenderness
- Redness at the site of a wound
dr Yimmy Chow, Health Advisor at UKHSA London, said: “Group A strep infections usually result in mild illness and information on the signs and symptoms has been shared with parents and staff.
“These include a sore throat, fever and minor skin infections, all of which can be treated with a full course of antibiotics from your GP. In rare cases it can be a serious illness and anyone with a high fever, severe muscle aches, pain in an area of the body and unexplained vomiting or diarrhea should call NHS 111 and seek medical help immediately.”
https://www.theargus.co.uk/news/23179214.strep-15-children-die-strep-illness-uk/?ref=rss Strep A: 15 children die from Strep A disease in the UK