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UK News Ealing child dies from invasive strep A with pupil at nearby primary school also in hospital after scarlet fever 'outbreak'

21:50  01 december  2022
21:50  01 december  2022 Source:   msn.com

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One primary school pupil has died of Invasive strep A and another child at a nearby school is in hospital with an unconfirmed illness. A number of children that go to the latter school are also off sick with scarlet fever.

The child who died from invasive strep A was a primary-age pupil from St John's School, Green Man Gardens. The child from North Ealing Primary School, Pitshanger Lane, is currently in hospital with an unconfirmed illness. However many children at the second child's school are off sick with scarlet fever, which is caused by Group A streptococcal (iGAS), also known as invasive strep A.

The two cases are not related, said The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA). The incidents are not formally considered an outbreak by the UK's health body, as it is under control and the cases reported in the two schools are not related.

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North Ealing Primary School © Google North Ealing Primary School

The North West London Health Protection Team said to Ealing GPs in an email seen by MyLondon that a number of primary students were off school with several different viral infections, including scarlet fever.

With the multiple viral infections - including chicken pox - being circulated among primary students in Ealing, the risk increases that scarlet fever could have a greater severity. This is because the body's ability to fight infections is reduced when a child is battling two infections at once.

The Ealing outbreak comes after a six-year-old pupil, in Surrey, died from strep A at the beginning of last week. The Year One pupil attended Ashford Church of England Primary School and developed strep A after first having scarlet fever.

Six children died from Strep A in England this season - five were under the age of 10

  Six children died from Strep A in England this season - five were under the age of 10 The UKHSA said investigations are underway.Strep A, known by its full name as Group A streptococcus, is a bacterial infection which can cause sore throats, scarlet fever and invasive disease in rare cases.

Invasive strep A is a more severe infection. It comes from the same bacteria that causes scarlet fever entering parts of the body that it doesn't normally reach, for example, the blood.

The same bacteria which causes invasive strep A and scarlet fever also causes tonsillitis and strep throat. These infections are easily treated with antibiotics if caught early enough, but if the bacteria does reach the blood, then it releases toxins. This can lead to shock, sepsis or pneumonia.

The symptoms of scarlet fever include a sore throat, headache, high temperature (38.3C or above), flushed face and swollen tongue. The distinctive pink-red rash develops 12 to 48 hours later.

As well as the rash, other symptoms include swollen neck glands, loss of appetite, nausea or vomiting, red lines in the folds of the body, such as the armpit, which may last a couple of days after the rash has gone. A white coating on the tongue, which peels a few days later leaving the tongue red and swollen (this is known as strawberry tongue).

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  What’s behind the surge in fatal Strep A cases in the UK? What’s behind the surge in fatal Strep A cases in the UK?A sharp increase in the number of cases in England and Wales this winter compared to previous years is believed to be linked to a drop in immunity and re-exposure to infection after three years of Covid restrictions.

Dr Yimmy Chow, health protection consultant at UKHSA London, said: “We are extremely saddened to hear about the death of a child at St John’s Primary School, and our thoughts are with their family, friends and the school community.

“Working with Ealing Council public health team, we have provided precautionary advice to the school community to help prevent further cases and we continue to monitor the situation closely. Group A streptococcal infections usually result in mild illness, and information has been shared with parents and staff about the signs and symptoms.

"These include a sore throat, fever and minor skin infections, and can be treated with a full course of antibiotics from the GP. In rare incidences, it can be a severe illness and anyone with high fever, severe muscle aches, pain in one area of the body and unexplained vomiting or diarrhoea should call NHS 111 and seek medical help immediately.”

St John's School and North Ealing Primary School declined to comment on the outbreak.

Is your child affected by the outbreak? Or did you know the child who died and would like to pay tribute? Email finn.byrne@reachplc.com.

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