The news that nine children have tragically lost their lives due to the infection Strep A has us all worrying and wondering why the strain is circulating. UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) has reported cases are higher this year due to high amounts of circulating bacteria. This is likely due to increased social mixing and other respiratory viruses. As parents we need to protect our children and understand the signs and symptoms.

Strep A is a bacteria that causes a sore throat or scarlet fever infections. Strep A and scarlet fever can be treated with antibiotics, the infections respond really well to the antibiotics. So it is important to look out for these signs and symptoms.

Strep A  symptoms – a sore throat, headache, fever, a sandpaper rash textured rash that might be red or might just feel like sandpaper. Also look out for strawberry tongue ( a red tongue with white dots). Red cheeks and pale lips. The UKHSA advises that anyone with any symptoms call NHS 111 and seek medical help immediately.

Scarlet fever – The first signs of scarlet fever is a rash of small raised spots which feel like sandpaper. Usually this is be on the rash will start on the chest or tummy. The signs of scarlet fever can be flu-like symptoms, a sore throat and swollen neck glands. Do call the doctor if you suspect scarlet fever.