Urgent warning to all families celebrating Christmas as Strep A poses killer threat to grandparents

Grandparents are more at risk of dying from Strep A than their grandchildren, a minister has warned.

Maria Caulfield said in the House of Commons on Monday that “the vast majority” of those who have died from Strep A this year are over the age of 65.

Health Secretary Maria Caulfield says Strep A is a greater threat to the elderly than to the young

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Health Secretary Maria Caulfield says Strep A is a greater threat to the elderly than to the young

The warning comes just days before millions of families across the country gather to celebrate Christmas.

New data from the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) suggests at least 34 over-65s have died from the virus in England since September as cases continue to rise.

19 children under the age of 18 are believed to have died from Strep A across England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

More deaths are expected to be seen among the elderly population with the beetle than the very young, said Dr. Simon Clarke, Professor of Biology at the University of Reading.

“As we get older, our immune systems weaken through a process called immunosenescence,” he told The Sun. “That’s why Covid was worse in older people.”

dr Simon added: “Although children have naïve, inexperienced immune systems, they usually function well.

“The weakening immune system of the elderly underperforms, on average (which of course will not always be the case) than a fully functioning but inexperienced immune system in children.

“What we end up with is optimal performance for most of our adulthood, rejuvenated at both ends of life,” explained the then-expert.

The health secretary’s comment came in response to a question from Lib Dem MP Daisy Cooper, who pointed to shortages of antibiotics and insisted families need reassurance they have access to antibiotics “throughout the Christmas period”.

While reassuring MPs, Maria said there was “no shortage of antibiotics to treat Strep A” but there had been “supply pressures”.

The Health Secretary said the UK is currently prescribing “five to six times” the normal amount of antibiotics.

She added: “We are monitoring this on a daily basis and I can only assure people that while this is higher than usual at this time of year, we are not yet at where we were in 2017-2018 this season overall when we had one.” significantly higher number of deaths.”

In response to supply problems, pharmacists were given new powers to prescribe alternative antibiotics to treat Strep A.

What are the symptoms of invasive group A streptococcus?

According to the NHS, there are four key signs of group strep A to look out for. These are:

  1. Fever (ie a high temperature above 38°C)
  2. Severe muscle pain
  3. Localized muscle tenderness
  4. 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.

It comes after pharmacies across the UK complained they could not get the treatment due to increased demand.

Group A Streptococcus – Streptococcus pyogenes – is a bacterium that can cause mild illness.

These include sore throats and skin infections, as well as tonsillitis, cellulitis and scarlet fever, which is flu-like and occurs in children – it can be serious if not treated quickly with antibiotics.

In rare cases, the bacteria can cause invasive streptococcal A disease, which can be life-threatening and even fatal.

https://www.the-sun.com/health/6953667/strep-a-risk-older-people-grandparents/ Urgent warning to all families celebrating Christmas as Strep A poses killer threat to grandparents

Emma James

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