Strep A symptoms that swept the UK and what to do: The symptoms of Strep A infections, which caused the death of more than one child, and how to combat it, which prompted the UK health authorities, became the subject of curiosity.
What is Strep A or GAS?
Strep A or Group A streptococcus (GAS) is a type of bacteria found in the throat and skin and does not cause any symptoms in most people.
Strep A can cause a number of different diseases of the nose, throat and lungs. The disease, which is transmitted through coughing, sneezing and skin contact, may not show symptoms in those who carry the bacteria.
Symptoms of Strep A include pain when swallowing, fever, swollen tonsils with white spots, swollen neck glands, high fever or skin rash.
Bacteria can also cause any of the following;
– Skin infections such as impetigo or erysipelas
Most cases of throat infections get better on their own without treatment. Skin infections may require antibiotics. However, GAS can sometimes cause very serious infections known as invasive GAS (iGAS).
What is iGAS?
Invasive GAS disease occurs when bacteria overcome the body’s natural defenses and enter areas of the body where it is not normally found, such as the blood, deep muscle, or lungs.
The most severe forms of invasive GAS disease symptoms of Streptococcal Toxic Shock Syndrome include high fever, low blood pressure, scarlet fever, kidney or liver damage, and vomiting and diarrhea, and is Necrotizing Fasciitis or “flesh-eating disease.” An infection that causes destruction of tissues and requires surgery.
Both of these are rare, but Toxic Shock Syndrome has a high mortality rate. Treatments include different types of antibiotics, and blood transfusions may be done, depending on how severe the symptoms are.
What are the symptoms of iGAS?
Early signs and symptoms of invasive GAS include; – High fever
– Severe muscle aches
– Pain, sores and redness in one area of the body
– Vomiting or diarrhea
How dangerous is Strep A (GAS) and is there any increased risk of getting it?
It can be a serious illness, but is less of a threat if treated promptly with antibiotics. It is generally considered non-infectious after at least 24 hours of antibiotic use.
People at risk of contracting the infection include:
– Close contact with someone with Strep A
– over 65 years old
– have HIV
– Use steroids or other drugs
– Having diabetes, heart disease or cancer
Which version of Strep A caused the children to die?
In the UK, some children have died from the invasive Group A streptococcus. UKHSA confirmed that five children in England died from iGAS, while another student at a primary school near Cardiff in Wales also died after contracting Strep A.
What should you do if you have symptoms?
If you believe you or your child has symptoms of GAS or iGAS, contact your doctor and seek immediate medical attention. Because the pain can come on quickly, strep throat tends to differ from a normal sore throat.