Group A Strep: Useful Information
As you know in the press and public currently there is a lot of information going around regarding Group A Strep. The following information is some guidance we have been asked to share with you all which we hope will potentially alleviate some anxiety for you and provide you useful guidance to follow.
Key messages for parents
- Group A strep (GAS) is a common bacteria which causes a range of infections, including scarlet fever. These infections are usually mild. GAS is spread by close contact with an infected person and can be passed on through coughs and sneezes or from a wound. Invasive group A strep (iGAS) is a rare infection when the bacteria gets into parts of the body where it can cause more serious disease, like the lungs or bloodstream.
- There are currently higher than seasonal expected levels of scarlet fever. The early symptoms of scarlet fever include sore throat, headache, fever, nausea and vomiting followed by a characteristic red, pinhead rash giving the skin a sandpaper-like texture. For more information and advice, please see: Scarlet fever - NHS Scarlet fever - NHS (www.nhs.uk)
- To help reduce all infections, good hand and respiratory hygiene are important, including:
- washing hands for 20 seconds with warm water and soap
- catching coughs and sneezes using tissues – catch it, bin it, kill it
- keeping away from others when feeling unwell.
- As a parent, if you feel that your child seems seriously unwell, you should trust your own judgement. Contact NHS 111 or your GP if:
- your child has a sore throat, fever, chills or muscle aches, but they are getting worse
- your child is eating much less than normal
- you child shows signs of dehydration Dehydration - NHS (www.nhs.uk)
- your child has a temperature of 39oC or higher.
5. Call 999 or go to A&E if:
- your child is having difficulty breathing – you may notice grunting noises or their tummy sucking under their ribs
- there are pauses when your child breathes
- your child’s skin, tongue or lips are blue Blue skin or lips (cyanosis) - NHS (www.nhs.uk)
- your child is floppy and will not wake up or stay awake.
- For more information, please see: UKHSA Blog - Group A Strep - What you need to know - UK Health Security Agency (blog.gov.uk)