Severe cases of Strep A appear to be increasing in parts of the world outside of the UK, where the increase was first reported. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as well several children’s hospitals in the United States have documented a rise, while doctors in Montreal, Canada also recently reported a possible rise in the region, along with two child deaths. Those increases are likely linked to a lack of population immunity to the bacteria, along with a concomitant rise in respiratory viral infections such as influenza, health officials said.
Strep A infection can cause a variety of diseases, such as B. scarlet fever and strep throat. Most of these diseases are mild and self-limiting or can be easily treated with antibiotics. Severe streptococcal disease A, also known as invasive group A streptococcal disease (iGAS), is much rarer but can be life-threatening and lead to complications such as septic shock and organ failure.
The strep surge in the UK is believed to have started in September. Nearly 30,000 cases of scarlet fever were reported in the country this fall and winter, along with at least 24 suspected pediatric deathsaccording to the latest update this week from the UK Health Security Agency. Although the UK has experienced large spikes in Strep A and iGAS in the last few years leading up to the pandemic, these current cases are occurring outside of the typical season of early spring.
Other countries and health authorities around the world have since followed suit The Lookout for similar overvoltages. On Thursday afternoon, the CDC Confirmed a reported increase in severe cases of Strep A in children in some parts of the country, while local health departments and hospitals in Minnesota, Missouri, Arizona, Texas and Colorado have reported a higher than usual number of streptococcal cases. Montreal Health Authorities last week Approved a public warning following the local deaths of two children from the infection.
Officials in the UK have so far ruled out the possibility that more virulent strains of strep are responsible for the increasing severity of these outbreaks, although they are studying the genetics of strains collected from patients to make sure. The reduced burden of Strep A infection in the population in recent years is a major factor in these unusual outbreaks of the disease, UK officials said have said. These cases also come against a background of other infections that have recently resurfaced, such as influenza and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), as well as the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. And since co-infections with germs like the flu can increase the risk of serious illness from strep throat, this may also play an important role.
Severe Strep A disease still appears to be a very rare complication during these peak levels. And the potential risk of co-infections could be declining in places like the U.S. flu, which the CDC says remains high in much of the country latest update, but may be declining in some areas. RSV activity is on the downturn as. Cases of Covid-19 have been reported increasingly in recent weeks, but deaths and hospitalizations are much lower than the previous two winters. At the same time, these infections will likely take weeks or months to fully clear up, so people should remain cautious.
For example, suspected cases of scarlet fever can be treated with antibiotics before they get worse. Masking and avoiding contact with others while ill with respiratory symptoms will help curb the spread of many infections this winter. And the flu shot and Covid-19 boosters will greatly reduce your risk of serious illness if you are unfortunate enough to contract both.
https://gizmodo.com/severe-strep-a-cdc-children-uk-death-1849923947 Severe Strep A Is Rising in U.S. After 24 Child Deaths in UK