America is investigating the rise in “streptococcal A” infections in children… and fears of a return to pre-pandemic levels

Dubai, United Arab Emirates (CNN) – The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that it is investigating an apparent increase in infections with invasive group A streptococcal infections, which may indicate a return to normal pre-pandemic levels.

Just like influenza and respiratory syncytial virus, invasive group A streptococcal sepsis infection is suppressed by COVID-19 control measures, such as wearing masks and social distancing.

But in a statement on Friday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention noted a rise in group A streptococcal infections, according to some doctors and health departments in the United States of America.

In an email, CDC spokeswoman Kate Grosich wrote, “It is too early to say whether the numbers of group A streptococcal sepsis infections are just returning to pre-pandemic levels, or if they are beyond what we would normally expect based on what we know.” on seasonal patterns of infection.

Recent increases in respiratory viruses, particularly influenza, may contribute to a potential increase in group A streptococcal infection.

Concurrent or previous viral infections, such as influenza, and skin conditions such as chickenpox, may increase the risk of group A streptococcal infection.

Beware of increasing cases

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment said Friday that it is monitoring an increase in children’s hospital admissions due to group A streptococcal sepsis. This rise follows a decrease in the number of cases during the pandemic.

“Cases of invasive group A streptococcus infection are increasing in all age groups, but are particularly evident this fall in children,” Paul Galloway, a spokesman for the Department of Public Health and Environment, wrote in an email.

Group A streptococcal infection is also on the rise in the UK, having so far caused the death of 6 children under the age of 10.

The administration pointed out that 11 cases of invasive group A streptococcal sepsis were recorded in children, between the ages of 10 months and 6 years, in the Denver metro area, since the first of last November. Galloway said two children died, but the official cause of their deaths had not yet been determined.

This month, UK health officials advised parents and schools to watch for streptococcal infection, group A (Strep A), following the death of several children.

For its part, the World Health Organization announced, Thursday, that France, Ireland, the Netherlands, Sweden and the United Kingdom have reported an increase in infections with group A streptococcal infection and scarlet fever, warning that children under the age of ten are most at risk.

Infection with group A streptococcus bacteria can cause rare infections

Sepsis with group A streptococcus infection can cause many types of infection, some of which are relatively mild. It is a bacteria found in the throat and on the skin, and commonly causes fever and sore throat.

But the rarest type is invasive group A streptococcal infection, which causes necrotizing fasciitis and streptococcal toxic shock syndrome.

Sometimes called “flesh-eating” disease, necrotizing fasciitis is a rare bacterial infection that spreads rapidly and can be fatal, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Group A bacteria are thought to be the most common cause.

Streptococcal toxic shock syndrome occurs when bacteria spread into deeper tissues and the bloodstream.

The CDC notes that toxic shock syndrome “can progress very rapidly to hypotension, multi-organ failure, and even death.”

Group A streptococcal sepsis isn’t fatal for most infected people, and antibiotics are usually effective.

There is no vaccine to prevent group A streptococcal infection, and the best way to protect against it is to wash your hands frequently, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

“If someone develops a group A streptococcal infection, receiving treatment as soon as possible is important, as it can prevent severe illness and complications,” Texas Department of Health spokeswoman Lara Anton said Friday.

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