How to avoid Strep A and is it contagious? | Pro IQRA News

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Nine children have been confirmed to have died of Strep A in recent weeks, and the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) has confirmed an increase in infections.

The latest confirmed death was a pupil who attended a primary school in Belfast who died on Monday after being diagnosed with Strep A. A statement from Black Mountain Primary School said the pupil became seriously ill last week and was treated at the Royal Belfast Hospital. Sick children, where she was in intensive care.

While the vast majority of infections are relatively mild, the bacteria sometimes cause a life-threatening disease called invasive group A streptococcal disease, as in the case of Belfast.

Group A Streptococcus (GAS) is a common bacteria. In fact, many of us carry it in our throats and on our skin and it doesn’t always lead to illness, according to the UKHSA. However, GAS causes a number of infections, some mild and some more serious.

The most serious infections associated with GAS come from invading group A bacteria, known as iGAS. Health officials explain that these infections are caused by bacteria entering parts of the body where they are not normally found, such as the lungs or bloodstream. In rare cases, iGAS infection can be fatal.

Although still relatively uncommon, there has been an increase in iGAS cases and deaths this year, particularly in children under 10 years of age.

The UKHSA says the gases are spread by close contact with an infected person and can be transmitted through coughing and sneezing or from a wound.

The bacteria can exist in some people’s bodies without feeling unwell or showing any symptoms of infection, and while they can transmit it, the risk of spreading is much greater when the person is unwell.

Talking to Sky News On Tuesday morning, UKHSA Deputy Director Dr Colin Brown suggested that the lack of mixing due to the Covid pandemic, combined with changes in mixing and allergies in children, might “bring back the normal scarlet fever season” from spring this side of Christmas.

He explained that the UK was seeing “more infections, for example, causing scarlet fever, than we normally see at this time of year”.

In an effort to reassure parents, Dr. Brown told the broadcaster that “the information we have at the moment is that there is no change” in the circulating strains of Strep A making it more virulent.

“There is nothing new or particularly new about the bacteria causing the infections that we’re seeing at the moment,” he said.

“We’re seeing more infections, for example, causing scarlet fever, than we normally see at this time of year.”

To slow the spread of infection and better protect children, UKSHA advises maintaining good hand and respiratory health.

“By teaching your child how to wash their hands properly with soap and warm water for 20 seconds, use a tissue to cough and sneeze, and move away from others when feeling unwell, they will be able to reduce the risk of catching, or spreading, an infection.”


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