With recent news stories about the rise in Strep A infections, we asked TOFS’ Medical Advisory Group member and General Practitioner, Dr Kamran Ahmed for his view.
Invasive Group A streptococcus (iGAS) infection is not unusual this time of year and will often lead to a condition known as Scarlet Fever.
This condition often starts with flu like symptoms and can quickly extend to include high temperature, a sand paper like rash, skin sores, muscle aches, swollen glands and a bright red tongue.
Notifications remain unusually high for this time of year- however the overall numbers are still relatively small.
Investigations are underway following reports of an increase in lower respiratory tract GAS infections in children over the past few weeks, which have caused severe illness. A high burden of co-circulating viral infections may be contributing to the increased severity and complications through co-infection.
Clinicians should continue to be mindful of potential increases in invasive disease and maintain a high index of suspicion in relevant patients as early recognition and prompt initiation of specific and supportive therapy for patients with iGAS infection can be life-saving.
For parents of children born with OA/TOF
- Children that are using prophylactic antibiotics (such as azithromycin) should continue to use these as they are effective against this condition.
- All children with flu like symptoms should be initially managed in the conventional way with paracetamol, plenty of fluids and attempts to keep temperature and symptoms under control.
- Any signs of deterioration should be discussed with the GP or 111. This may include a persisting temperature despite measures described above, worsening breathing, new rash that is persisting or decreasing oral intake.
Please make the GP / 111 aware of child’s OA/TOF diagnosis so they can ensure a thorough assessment.
Dr Kamran Ahmed MBChB MRCS MRCGP