Health officials have described this move as “rare” regarding giving preventive antibiotics to primary schoolchildren at risk of severe strep A.
Since September, at least nine children have died from complications related to strep A infections. One senior health official suggests the early start to the strep A season in the UK may have resulted in a knock-on effect on immunity levels. Others, however, have downplayed the impact of the lockdowns.
The most common symptoms of strep A are sore throats and skin infections, which are easily treated with antibiotics; deaths are extremely rare.
Occasionally, strep A can progress to an invasive group A streptococcal infection (IGAS), which can be fatal. IGAS cases have increased among children under ten this year, according to officials.
On Tuesday, Nick Gibb, the school’s minister, told GB News that preventative antibiotics could be given to children in England at schools with strep A infections.
“Lord Markham noted yesterday in the House of Lords that the UK Health Security Agency is monitoring the situation and considering these issues in those schools.”.
This is an ongoing situation; the UKHSA is closely involved with those schools and will provide further advice later. However, that may be an option for the affected schools.”
Nick Markham, the health minister, floated the idea in the Lords on Monday.
Conservative peer says: “We have given doctors instructions that when necessary, they should be prescribing penicillin as the best line of defense against this, and we will also instruct them to work with local health protection teams and sometimes examine the use of antibiotics on a prophylactic basis in primary schools, which are known to be the main vector of this.”
According to a primary school in Belfast, nine children have died in the UK in the past week from strep A.
It was said that Stella-Lily McCorkindale was “very bright and talented, very popular with staff and children, and all at school will greatly miss her.” The school released a statement describing the pupil’s death as “tragic.” It said that “the whole school is thinking of his family and friends at this difficult time.”
Additionally, the school has engaged trained personnel from the Education Authority critical incident response team to support pupils and staff during this sad time.
We acknowledge that this news may cause worry among parents and want to reassure them that we continue to work closely with the Public Health Agency.”
Antibiotics are generally not prescribed in mass amounts by general practitioners since they can increase resistance to serious infections in the population.
The UKHSA reported that prescribing antibiotics to non-invasive strep A-exposed children was rare.
According to the agency, the outbreak control team (OCT) only considered the move in “exceptional circumstances.”
UKHSA said (antibiotics’) effectiveness in outbreak control in this setting (involving children with non-invasive strep A contacts) is unproven.
For example, if there are reports of severe outcomes or hospitalizations, the OCT may consider it in exceptional circumstances. Non-invasive (group A streptococcus) GAS infections in school and nursery settings are not routinely treated with antibiotic chemoprophylaxis.”
According to a report from Morelands primary school in Waterlooville, Hampshire, eight children have died from the invasive form of strep A. Northern Ireland reported on Tuesday that a ninth child had died.
Times Radio interviewed Adam Finn, a professor of pediatrics at the University of Bristol, about finding the right balance.
It is critical not to alarm people whose children are mildly ill. There are many mildly ill children around at the moment, and at the same time, it encourages people to seek care and attention when their children become seriously ill – relentlessly getting sicker as the hours pass. “It is essential to see those children right away.”
“Run-of-the-mill” viral infections can make children feel unwell, then improve, and their health fluctuates up and down.
He said that children with invasive bacterial infections never get better but get sicker.
A group A strep infection can cause skin infections, impetigo, scarlet fever, and strep throat.
Scarlet fever cases are on the rise. From 14-20 November, 851 reports were made, compared with an average of 186 for the same period last year.
Scarlet fever is characterized by sore throats, headaches, fevers, and fine, pinkish, red rashes on the body that feel like sandpaper.
Humza Yousaf, Scotland’s health secretary, said there had been more strep A infections in the country, but no deaths have been reported.
An investigation was launched into the death of a child in Ireland to determine whether it was caused by strep A. According to the director of the HSE’s National Health Protection Department and the Health Protection Surveillance Center, the four-year-old’s death may have been caused by strep A.
What is Strep A Disease?
It is a bacterial infection that causes a sore and scratchy throat. In terms of the number of people suffering from sore throats, strep throat accounts for only a small percentage.
In the absence of treatment, strep throat may lead to complications, such as inflammation of the kidneys or rheumatic fever. Rheumatic fever can cause painful and inflamed joints, a specific type of rash, or damage to the heart valves.
Most cases of strep throat occur in children, but it can affect anyone at any age. You should seek immediate medical attention if you suspect that you or your child may have strep throat.