Many states in the United States have been witnessing a sharp rise in Strep A infections among children recently. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has stepped up and launched an investigation to find out the cause of an apparent surge in the cases of invasive group A strep infection.
Multiple US Children’s hospitals and other health agencies as well indicated a sharp increase in the cases of a deadly infection that can lead to severe illness and death at times if not treated timely. Invasive group A strep infection is a deadly but rare ailment that leads to nearly 1500 to 2300 mortalities per year in the United States.
Experts have said that just like flu and RSV, invasive group A strep infection, which is also known as iGAS infection was in control due to COVID-19 restrictions such as wearing face masks and maintaining social distancing. As the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic has reduced, many restrictions as well have been lifted across the country.
The officials from the CDC have said that though they have many reports of an increase in iGAS infections from many state health departments and healthcare professionals, it is too early to claim whether cases of invasive group A strep infection have seen an increase just like pre-pandemic times.
They have stated that the recent surge in many other respiratory viruses especially influenza might be a contributing factor in an apparent surge in iGas infections. Health officials from the CDC have said that parallel viral infections such as flu and skin issues such as chickenpox can shoot up the risk of iGas infections.
The CDC has stated that around 14000 to 25000 cases of iGas infection take place every year in the United States. During the pandemic, there was almost no case of iGas infection. Currently, Children’s hospitals in states like Colorado, Arizona, and Texas are reporting more cases of invasive group A strep infection (iGas infection) than usual.
As per recent data, two children have lost their lives due to the deadly disease in Denver. Health officials have said that the infection takes place when group A streptococcus a bacteria that usually leads to mild illness like a sore throat starts affecting other parts of the body such as the bloodstream or spinal fluid.
In such a case, patients might suffer from pneumonia, flesh-eating skin infections, and deadly shock syndrome. As per the latest report, more than a dozen children have lost their lives due to the deadly disease during early fall in the United Kingdom. Recently the deadly disease has claimed the lives of 6 children in the UK. The officials from the World Health Organization(WHO) have announced that countries like France, Netherlands, Ireland, and Sweden as well have been reporting a sharp upsurge in the number of iGas incidents. Health experts have said that difficulty in breathing and dehydration are two major symptoms of respiratory infections.
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment as well is tracking an increase in pediatric hospitalizations that are led by group A strep infection. A spokesperson of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, Paul Galloway has said that though incidents of invasive group A strep infection have been rising among all age groups, children are most affected by the bacteria during this fall.
Health officials in the UK have asked parents and schools to keep a track of strep A infection. The WHO has claimed that people who are below 10 years are at a higher risk of invasive group A strep infection. The officials from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have said that for the majority of people Strep A infection is not fatal and antibiotic medications can be effective in treating patients. However, at present, there is no vaccine available for preventing such kind of infection. Health experts advise that people should follow hand hygiene to prevent themselves from invasive group A strep infection.
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