After Covid-19, UK is now affected with a new bacteria spreading increasing for over a month. Group A Streptococcus (GAS) or Strep A infections has led to a condition in children which caused death of six children, according to Health officials in the United Kingdom.
Although, the infections caused by the bacteria are usually mild with symptoms like a sore throat or skin infections or scarlet fever which can be easily treated with antibiotics but in some cases the infection can get deeper into the body like into the lungs and bloodstream causing invasive Group A Streptococcus (iGAS), which is much difficult to treat. Symptoms of iGAS include high fever, dehydration, poor appetite, altered behaviour and feeling very sleepy, Dr Colin Brown, deputy director of the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) said. Through the investigations by UKHSA, an increase in cases of chest infections caused by Group A Strep is seen which resulted in severe illness.
“Tragically, when there are high numbers of infections, the severe cases will also occur. We are seeing more pneumonia than usual, most likely as group A strep infections are coinciding with the peak in winter respiratory viruses which are typical for this time of year”, according to a source. “During the first two years of the pandemic, we saw very little Group A Strep and it has started to circulate again in 2022 as restrictions have been lifted”, Dr Elizabeth Whittaker, honorary clinical senior lecturer, at Imperial College London, said.
In the last high season of iGAS (2017-18), four death of four children under the age 10 was recorded. This year, the number increased to 5 during the same time period. High amounts of bugs are circulating and increase in social interaction is claimed to the main cause behind the increase in these numbers, said the UKHSA.