Another child has been killed by Strep A as the death toll across the UK reaches 36.
A third child under the age of 10 has now died after contracting the killer virus.
Public Health Scotland (PHS) announced the tragic news today.
It comes after health officials announced two under-10s have died in Scotland since October 3.
The agency said this compares to between zero and 15 deaths reported in the same period in previous years.
There is currently an earlier increase in cases of GAS (group A strep) and iGAS (invasive group A strep) this season than in previous seasons in Scotland, PHS says.
The total number of cases reported so far is higher than that observed at the peaks in previous years before the Covid-19 pandemic.
In the week ended January 15, there were 532 lab reports from GAS, down from 600 the previous week.
The agency said that although an increase in GAS has been reported in Scotland in recent weeks, iGAS infection figures for 2022/23 have been “generally stable and similar to previous years”.
There have been 151 deaths across all age groups in England this season, Britain’s Health Security Agency said previously.
The 2017–18 season saw a total of 355 deaths, including 27 deaths in children under the age of 18.
The UKHSA said although the number of cases has been falling week-on-week it is continuing to monitor the situation closely.
It said the infection was still circulating “at high levels”.
Data from the UKHSA says there have been 37,068 cases of scarlet fever caused by Strep A bacteria.
This compares to a total of 4,490 at the same time in the last comparable high season of 2017 to 2018.
What are the symptoms of invasive Strep A disease?
According to the NHS, there are four key signs of group strep A to look out for. These are:
- Fever (ie a high temperature above 38°C)
- Severe muscle pain
- Localized muscle tenderness
- Redness at the site of a wound
The invasive version of the disease occurs when the bacteria breach the body’s immune defenses.
This can happen if you are already unwell or have a weakened immune system.
In most cases, Strep A bacteria cause mild illness, but in rare cases they can cause invasive Strep A disease that has claimed the lives of 36 children.
dr UKHSA Incident Director Sarah Anderson said last week officers will continue to monitor the data as the school year begins and more children begin to mingle.
“The bacteria that cause scarlet fever are still circulating in large quantities, so it’s important that we continue to do our part to stop the spread of germs to vulnerable groups, including the elderly, by regularly and thoroughly investigating Wash hands and catch coughs and sneezes with a handkerchief and keep our homes well ventilated.
“It’s not too late to take advantage of the free flu and Covid-19 vaccines if you qualify – we know that group A strep infections can be more serious when they’re coexisting with another infection like combined with the flu.”
The Sun has also urged Brits to come forward and do double duty to keep them safe from disease this winter.
dr Anderson added: “Most winter illnesses can be treated at home and NHS.UK has information to help parents care for children with mild illness.
“Death and serious illness after group A streptococcal infection are very rare and the infection can be easily treated with antibiotics.
“Contact NHS 111 or your GP if you think your child is getting worse, e.g. B. if he is feeding or eating less than normal, is dehydrated, has a high temperature that doesn’t go down, is very hot and sweaty, or seems more tired or irritable than normal.”
https://www.the-sun.com/health/7163663/another-child-killed-by-strep-a/ Another child under 10 is killed by Strep A as death toll from killer bug hits 36