CASES of scarlet fever have soared in England to 17,695 – in contrast to simply 2,538 cases on the identical level final yr.
Scarlet fever is a bacterial an infection, triggered by Group A Strep micro organism – in uncommon cases, the micro organism can attain the bloodstream and trigger a deadly invasive illness.
The primary signs of scarlet fever can seem related to flu, and embrace a excessive temperature, sore throat and swollen neck glands as nicely as a rash that may really feel like sandpaper.
The identical micro organism could cause different, much less critical circumstances, together with strep throat, tonsillitis, the pores and skin infections impetigo and cellulitis.
However, as cases of Strep A have risen throughout the UK, so too have extra critical cases of each scarlet fever and invasive Group A Strep illness.
The outbreak has up to now killed 19 children, who’re believed to have died of Strep A.
Cases of the bug have risen earlier this yr, which could possibly be a knock-on impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, consultants have beforehand stated.
Nevertheless, well being officers don’t imagine the variety of scarlet fever infections has but peaked.
The surge in cases is placing an enormous pressure on NHS 111 and pharmacists, with shortages of penicillin and different antibiotics reported throughout the UK.
Cases of Strep A are additionally circulating in excessive numbers in different European nations, together with France, Eire, the Netherlands, Sweden, in accordance to the WHO.
In the meantime, dad and mom are flooding NHS 111 cellphone strains in a panic concerning the Strep A outbreak in children
The rise in concern from Brits comes as nurses up and down the nation have at this time taken to the picket line to strike in a deal over pay.
And on Monday a minister warned that grandparents are extra prone to dying from Strep A than their grandkids.
Maria Caulfield, talking within the Home of Commons on Monday, stated that “the overwhelming majority” of those that have died of Strep A this yr have been these aged over 65.
The warning comes simply days earlier than hundreds of thousands of households up and down the nation get collectively to have a good time Christmas.
New data from the UK Well being Safety Company (UKHSA) suggests a minimum of 34 over 65’s have died of the bug in England since September, as cases proceed to rise.
What are the signs of invasive group A Strep?
There are 4 key indicators of Group Strep A to be careful for, in accordance to the NHS. These are:
- A fever (that means a excessive temperature above 38°C)
- Extreme muscle aches
- Localised muscle tenderness
- Redness on the website of a wound
The invasive model of the illness occurs when the micro organism break by way of the physique’s immune defences.
This could occur if you happen to’re already feeling unwell or have an immune system that’s weakened.
Infections attributable to Strep A vary from minor sicknesses to critical and lethal illnesses.
They embrace the pores and skin an infection impetigo, scarlet fever and strep throat.
Whereas the overwhelming majority of infections are comparatively gentle, the micro organism could cause life-threatening sickness known as invasive Group A Streptococcal illness.
The micro organism are unfold by contact with an contaminated individual or by contact with contaminated pores and skin lesions.
Micro organism will be handed from individual to individual by shut contact, such as kissing or pores and skin contact.
The danger of unfold is best when someone is sick, such as when individuals have strep throat or an contaminated wound.