Information about Group A Streptococcus

8 December 2022

The latest data from UK Health Security Agency show that scarlet fever cases and Group A Streptococcus (GAS) cases continue to remain higher than we would typically see at this time of year in the North West.

The bacteria usually cause a mild infection producing sore throats or scarlet fever that can be easily treated with antibiotics.

However, talk to a health professional if your child is showing signs of deteriorating after a bout of scarlet fever, a sore throat, or a respiratory infection.

Look out for symptoms in your child, which include:

  • Sore throat
  • Headache
  • Strawberry tongue or tonsils (swollen or bumpy or covered in white spots)
  • A fine, pinkish or red body rash with rougher skin that feels like sandpaper. On darker skin the rash may be more difficult to see
  • If your child is under three months old and has a temperature of 38°C, or is older than three months and has a temperature of 39°C or higher (if you have a thermometer to check)
  • If your child feels hotter than usual when you touch their back or chest or feels sweaty (if you don’t have a thermometer to check)

Contact NHS 111 or your GP if you suspect your child has scarlet fever, because early treatment of scarlet fever with antibiotics is important to reduce the risk of complications such as pneumonia or a bloodstream infection. If your child has scarlet fever, keep them at home until at least 24 hours after the start of antibiotic treatment to avoid spreading the infection to others.

For more information click here.

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