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Weekly iGAS update

Updated: 24 January 2023

Siobhan Adams, Consultant in Health Protection for Public Health Wales, said:

“While we understand that parents are likely to be worried, cases of invasive group A streptococcal infection (iGAS) remain rare in Wales, and children have a very low risk of contracting the disease.

“As of Tuesday 24 January 2023, Public Health Wales has been notified of five deaths in children under the age of 15 in whom iGAS was detected since 1 September 2022. We offer our deepest condolences to all those affected. Public Health Wales cannot comment on individual cases.

“Cold and flu like symptoms are very common at this time of year, especially in children. If your child has a sore throat or a headache, most will have a common seasonal virus, and there is no need to contact your doctor – simply treat them at home by keeping the child hydrated, and with paracetamol.

“If your child develops a fever, nausea or vomiting, or fine pink-red rash that feels like sandpaper to touch, it may be a sign of scarlet fever. In this case, contact NHS 111 Wales or your GP for advice.

“Scarlet fever is usually a mild illness from which most children will recover without complications, especially if the condition is properly treated with antibiotics.

“In a very small number of cases, a Strep A infection can cause iGAS, a rare complication which usually affects fewer than 20 children in Wales each year. Although iGAS is a worrying condition, the majority of these children will recover with proper treatment.

Contact NHS 111 Wales or your GP straight away if your child:

  • is under 3 months old and has a temperature of 38C or higher, or you think they have a high temperature
  • is 3 to 6 months old and has a temperature of 39C or higher, or you think they have a high temperature
  • has other signs of illness, such as a rash, as well as a high temperature
  • • has a high temperature that's lasted for 5 days or more
  • doesn't want to eat, or isn't their usual self and you're worried
  • has a high temperature that doesn't come down with paracetamol
  • is dehydrated – such as nappies that are not very wet, sunken eyes, and no tears when they're crying

Siobhan added: “Catching flu increases the risk of becoming severely unwell with secondary infections. Protect your children and vulnerable family members from Strep A by taking up the offer of a free flu vaccine for your child or eligible adult.”

More information about Strep A is available on the Public Health Wales website.

 

Updated: 17 January 2023

Siobhan Adams, Consultant in Health Protection for Public Health Wales, said:

“While we understand that parents are likely to be worried, cases of invasive group A streptococcal infection (iGAS) remain rare in Wales, and children have a very low risk of contracting the disease.

“As of Tuesday 17 January 2023, Public Health Wales has been notified of five deaths in children under the age of 15 in whom iGAS was detected since 1 September 2022. We offer our deepest condolences to all those affected. Public Health Wales cannot comment on individual cases.

“Cold and flu like symptoms are very common at this time of year, especially in children. If your child has a sore throat or a headache, most will have a common seasonal virus, and there is no need to contact your doctor – simply treat them at home by keeping the child hydrated, and with paracetamol.

“If your child develops a fever, nausea or vomiting, or fine pink-red rash that feels like sandpaper to touch, it may be a sign of scarlet fever. In this case, contact NHS 111 Wales or your GP for advice.

“Scarlet fever is usually a mild illness from which most children will recover without complications, especially if the condition is properly treated with antibiotics.

“In a very small number of cases, a Strep A infection can cause iGAS, a rare complication which usually affects fewer than 20 children in Wales each year. Although iGAS is a worrying condition, the majority of these children will recover with proper treatment.

Contact NHS 111 Wales or your GP straight away if your child:

  • is under 3 months old and has a temperature of 38C or higher, or you think they have a high temperature
  • is 3 to 6 months old and has a temperature of 39C or higher, or you think they have a high temperature
  • has other signs of illness, such as a rash, as well as a high temperature
  • has a high temperature that's lasted for 5 days or more
  • doesn't want to eat, or isn't their usual self and you're worried
  • has a high temperature that doesn't come down with paracetamol
  • is dehydrated – such as nappies that are not very wet, sunken eyes, and no tears when they're crying

Siobhan Adams added: “Catching flu increases the risk of becoming severely unwell with secondary infections. Protect your children and vulnerable family members from Strep A by taking up the offer of a free flu vaccine for your child or eligible adult.” 

More information about Strep A is available on the Public Health Wales website.

 

Updated: 10 January 2023

Siobhan Adams, Consultant in Health Protection for Public Health Wales, said:

“While we understand that parents are likely to be worried, cases of invasive group A streptococcal infection (iGAS) remain rare in Wales, and children have a very low risk of contracting the disease.

“As of Tuesday 10 January 2023, Public Health Wales has been notified of five deaths in children under the age of 15 in whom iGAS was detected since 1 September 2022.  We offer our deepest condolences to all those affected.  Public Health Wales cannot comment on individual cases.

“Cold and flu like symptoms are very common at this time of year, especially in children.  If your child has a sore throat or a headache, most will have a common seasonal virus, and there is no need to contact your doctor – simply treat them at home by keeping the child hydrated, and with paracetamol.

“If your child develops a fever, nausea or vomiting, or fine pink-red rash that feels like sandpaper to touch, it may be a sign of scarlet fever.  In this case, contact NHS 111 Wales or your GP for advice.

“Scarlet fever is usually a mild illness from which most children will recover without complications, especially if the condition is properly treated with antibiotics.

“In a very small number of cases, a Strep A infection can cause iGAS, a rare complication which usually affects fewer than 20 children in Wales each year.  Although iGAS is a worrying condition, the majority of these children will recover with proper treatment.

Contact NHS 111 Wales or your GP straight away if your child:

  • is under 3 months old and has a temperature of 38C or higher, or you think they have a high temperature
  • is 3 to 6 months old and has a temperature of 39C or higher, or you think they have a high temperature
  • has other signs of illness, such as a rash, as well as a high temperature
  • has a high temperature that's lasted for 5 days or more
  • doesn't want to eat, or isn't their usual self and you're worried
  • has a high temperature that doesn't come down with paracetamol
  • is dehydrated – such as nappies that are not very wet, sunken eyes, and no tears when they're crying

Siobhan added: “Catching flu increases the risk of becoming severely unwell with secondary infections. Protect your children and vulnerable family members from Strep A by taking up the offer of a free flu vaccine for your child or eligible adult.”

More information about Strep A is available on the Public Health Wales website.

 

Updated: 3 January 2022

Dr Graham Brown, Consultant in Communicable Disease Control for Public Health Wales, said:

"While we understand that parents are likely to be worried, cases of invasive group A streptococcal infection (iGAS) remain rare in Wales, and children have a very low risk of contracting the disease."

"As of Tuesday 3 January 2023, Public Health Wales has been notified of five deaths in children under the age of 15 in whom iGAS was detected since 1 September 2022.

"We offer our deepest condolences to all those affected. Public Health Wales cannot comment on individual cases.

"Cold and flu like symptoms are very common at this time of year, especially in children. If your child has a sore throat or a headache, most will have a common seasonal virus, and there is no need to contact your doctor – simply treat them at home by keeping the child hydrated, and with paracetamol.

"If your child develops a fever, nausea or vomiting, or fine pink-red rash that feels like sandpaper to touch, it may be a sign of scarlet fever. In this case, contact NHS 111 Wales or your GP for advice.

"Scarlet fever is usually a mild illness from which most children will recover without complications, especially if the condition is properly treated with antibiotics.

"In a very small number of cases, a Strep A infection can cause iGAS, a rare complication which usually affects fewer than 20 children in Wales each year. Although iGAS is a worrying condition, the majority of these children will recover with proper treatment."

Contact NHS 111 Wales or your GP straight away if your child:

  • is under 3 months old and has a temperature of 38C or higher, or you think they have a high temperature
  • is 3 to 6 months old and has a temperature of 39C or higher, or you think they have a high temperature
  • has other signs of illness, such as a rash, as well as a high temperature
  • has a high temperature that's lasted for 5 days or more
  • doesn't want to eat, or isn't their usual self and you're worried
  • has a high temperature that doesn't come down with paracetamol
  • is dehydrated – such as nappies that are not very wet, sunken eyes, and no tears when they're crying

Dr Graham Brown added: “Catching flu increases the risk of becoming severely unwell with secondary infections. Protect your children and vulnerable family members from Strep A by taking up the offer of a free flu vaccine for your child or eligible adult.” 

More information about Strep A is available on the Public Health Wales website.

 

Published: 28 December 2022

Public Health Wales will update our website every Tuesday relating to iGAS.

Dr Graham Brown, Consultant in Communicable Disease Control for Public Health Wales, said:

“While we understand that parents are likely to be worried, cases of invasive group A streptococcal infection (iGAS) remain rare in Wales, and children have a very low risk of contracting the disease.

“As of Wednesday 28 December 2022, Public Health Wales has been notified of fewer than five deaths in children under the age of 15 in whom iGAS was detected since 1 September 2022.  We offer our deepest condolences to the family, friends and all those affected. 

“Due to the risk of identification, Public Health Wales will not confirm numbers of deaths lower than five.  Public Health Wales cannot comment on individual cases.

 “Cold and flu like symptoms are very common at this time of year, especially in children.  If your child has a sore throat or a headache, most will have a common seasonal virus, and there is no need to contact your doctor – simply treat them at home by keeping the child hydrated, and with paracetamol.

“If your child develops a fever, nausea or vomiting, or fine pink-red rash that feels like sandpaper to touch, it may be a sign of scarlet fever.  In this case, contact NHS 111 Wales or your GP for advice.

“Scarlet fever is usually a mild illness from which most children will recover without complications, especially if the condition is properly treated with antibiotics.

“In a very small number of cases, a Strep A infection can cause iGAS, a rare complication which usually affects fewer than 20 children in Wales each year.  Although iGAS is a worrying condition, the majority of these children will recover with proper treatment.

Contact NHS 111 Wales or your GP straight away if your child:

  • is under 3 months old and has a temperature of 38C or higher, or you think they have a high temperature
  • is 3 to 6 months old and has a temperature of 39C or higher, or you think they have a high temperature
  • has other signs of illness, such as a rash, as well as a high temperature
  • has a high temperature that's lasted for 5 days or more
  • doesn't want to eat, or isn't their usual self and you're worried
  • has a high temperature that doesn't come down with paracetamol
  • is dehydrated – such as nappies that are not very wet, sunken eyes, and no tears when they're crying

Dr Graham Brown added: “Catching flu increases the risk of becoming severely unwell with secondary infections. Protect your children and vulnerable family members from Strep A by taking up the offer of a free flu vaccine for your child or eligible adult.”

More information about Strep A is available on the Public Health Wales website.