Home Health Streptococcus A infections on the rise. Symptoms and treatments

Streptococcus A infections on the rise. Symptoms and treatments

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Streptococcus A infections on the rise.  Symptoms and treatments

The death within days of three children from scarlet fever in England and Wales alarms the medical and education authorities of Great Britain. The latest case has rocked the community of Penarth, Wales, where 7-year-old Hanna Roap, who attended Victoria Primary School, died.

The child had suffered a streptococcus A infection which in almost all cases is successfully treated thanks to antibiotics which have effectively blocked the lethal consequences of scarlet fever, one of the exenthematous diseases which, before the discovery of this medicine, involved death of many children.

Scarlet fever, which spreads through the airways, is triggered by the toxins produced by the group A streptococcus bacterium. It is therefore not a virus such as rubella and chicken pox, diseases from which it is moreover possible to protect yourself with a vaccine than for scarlet fever does not exist.

Hanna’s parents

Salah and Abul, 37, parents of Hanna, thanked all of Wales for the affection and solidarity, including economic, triggered by the death of their little girl: «Our hearts have been broken into a million pieces. Our only priority is the well-being of Hanna’s 8-year-old older sister.”

Before Hanna there were two other deaths among primary school pupils in the United Kingdom: St John’s in Ealing and Ashford Church of England Primary School, both in west London. A child who is hospitalized also attends this school, and also pupils of these schools are positive for Streptococcus A, but their conditions are not worrying.

The British national health system has invited the schools where the infections have been registered to implement all the precautions to limit them and has also asked the families to contact the doctors as soon as the conditions of the infected children cause concern.

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The situation is monitored with great attention because Great Britain is one of those countries where cases of scarlet fever are constantly increasing without being able to identify the causes.

In Wales and England, according to data dating back to two years before the Covid pandemic, cases of scarlet fever – reads the Lancet – have in fact tripled since 2013. In that year there were 8 cases for every 100,000 children. In 2014 it rose to 27 cases, then to 33 in 2016 with 620 outbreaks. This is the highest number since 1967.

The contagion

It occurs through the spread of respiratory droplets or contact with contaminated objects


Sore throat, also with pain when swallowing, and then fever, headache, abdominal pain, whitish patina on the tongue. Then within two to three days reddish spots and dots appear on the skin, starting from the neck, which disappear within a week or ten days.

The diagnosis

It occurs through a throat swab.

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