Any parent or grandparent will be worried about the news reports of a recent increase in Strep A infections among children. Although most cases are mild and are easily treated with antibiotics, in some cases individuals can develop scarlet fever or the very serious invasive group-A streptococcal infection (iGAS).
Medical advice is available through this link giving clear information about the symptoms to look out for if your child is unwell and what action to take if you are worried about their health.
What you should look out for
GAS infections cause various symptoms such as sore throat, fever, chills and muscle aches.
As a parent, if you feel that your child seems seriously unwell, you should trust your own judgement.
Contact NHS 111 or your GP if:
- your child is getting worse
- your child is feeding or eating much less than normal
- your child has had a dry nappy for 12 hours or more or shows other signs of dehydration
- your baby is under 3 months and has a temperature of 38C, or is older than 3 months and has a temperature of 39C or higher
- your baby feels hotter than usual when you touch their back or chest, or feels sweaty
- your child is very tired or irritable
Call 999 or go to A&E if:
- your child is having difficulty breathing – you may notice grunting noises or their tummy sucking under their ribs
- there are pauses when your child breathes
- your child’s skin, tongue or lips are blue
- your child is floppy and will not wake up or stay awake
There is no evidence that a new strain is circulating. It is thought the recent increase in cases is a result of high amounts of circulating bacteria and social mixing.