Streptococcal infection and Scarlet fever
Updated: Dec 8, 2022
We know that a lot of you are understandably concerned about the recent news headlines about deaths due to a rare invasive form of Streptococcus Group A (iGAS) in the UK, so we've put together some reliable sources of information for you.
It's important to remember that, although it's not uncommon for us to see sore throats and infections of all sorts due to the type of bacteria called streptococcus, the more invasive form (iGAS) remains rare. Even though the numbers of deaths seen due to this bacterium are higher than normal, it's important to keep a perspective on this and remember that absolute numbers of deaths are still low.
Streptococcus is usually treated easily with penicillin (or an alternative called a macrolide for those allergic to penicillin).
As a rule, we generally advise our patients to include the words "NHS" in any searches relating to medical matters because webpages produced by the NHS will be reliable sources of information.
Should I be worried?
Here is a short video by Dr Damian Roland, who is a paediatric emergency medicine consultant, who gives an overview of the important points:
Rather than replicate what has been produced elsewhere, we would like to guide you towards the following sources of information.
Wales’ 111 service is urging the public to take full advantage of its free health advice and information in the run-up to winter. The NHS 111 Wales website should be the public’s first port of call if they are ill or injured and unsure what to do.
NHS information about Scarlet Fever. Includes pictures of strawberry tongue and information about symptoms.
This webpage from Public Health Wales gives information about the disease in Wales.
This A4 PDF by a medical education organisation called "Red Whale" contains more detailed information aimed at Doctors and Nurses but includes additional information for those who may want further detail.
This very detailed document from the Department of Health outlines how outbreaks of scarlet fever in schools, nurseries and other childcare settings are managed.