death of six children after infections with streptococci A

The UK health authorities are seeing an increase in such invasive infections compared to the seasons before the Covid-19 pandemic.

Six children have died in the United Kingdom after invasive infections with streptococcus A, bacteria in particular caused by scarlet fever, a benign disease whose cases are on the rise in that country, health officials announced Friday. The UK Health Safety Agency (UKHSA) has urged parents to be vigilant after five deaths were recorded in children under 10 within seven days of being diagnosed with invasive group A strep infection this season in England. A sixth death has been recorded in Wales.

Many cases of scarlet fever

In the last season of Strep A infections (2017-2018), four deaths were recorded among children under the age of 10 in England. Health authorities are observing an increase in this type of invasive infection compared to the seasons preceding the Covid-19 pandemic. Streptococcus A can cause either mild or fatal infections, especially when they reach the bloodstream, diseases such as tonsillitis, impetigo (skin infection) and scarlet fever. Health authorities are also investigating reports of serious respiratory infections caused by the bacterium.

Anyway, “there is no evidence that a new strain is in circulation”Explains the British agency, considering that the probable reason for the increase in the number of infections lies in the increase in the circulation of bacteria and contacts. Scarlet fever, a generally mild but highly contagious disease, saw strong growth, with 851 cases reported in the week of November 14-20, compared with an average of 186 at the same time in previous years.

Streptococcus A cause “usually a mild infection, sore throat or scarlet fever, which can be easily treated with antibiotics“, stressed in a press release Dr. Colin Brown, the deputy director of the Health Security Agency. “In rare cases, this bacteria can enter the bloodstream and cause serious illnesses called invasive strep A infections.“, back”unusual“, he added, urging parents to watch for symptoms and consult as soon as possible so that their children can be treated quickly before the infection becomes serious.

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