Surge in iGAS Cases in the UK

As of December 5, at least 6 children lost their lives to a common bacterial infection called invasive Group A Strep (GAS) in the United Kingdom.

What is Group A streptococcus (GAS)?

  • Group A streptococcus (GAS) is a bacterium commonly found in throats and on the skin.
  • It generally does not cause illnesses. However, it causes a number of infections that range from mild to fatal.
  • Some of the symptoms of GAS infections are sore throat, fever, chills and muscle aches.
  • These infections spread by close contact with infected person, coughs, sneezes and from wounds.
  • The bacteria can also spread from asymptomatic patients who have the bacteria in their body but do not feel unwell or show symptoms.

What is iGAS?

Invasive group A strep (iGAS) is a group of bacterial infections that cause the most serious GAS infections.  These infections are caused when the bacteria get into the parts of the body where the bacteria are normally not found like the lungs and bloodstream. In rare instances, an iGAS infection can be deadly. Some of the most deadly and rare forms of iGAS infections are Necrotising fasciitis, necrotising pneumonia and Streptococcal Toxic Shock Syndrome

The iGAS infection is caused when an individual has sores or open wounds that allows bacteria to enter into tissue, breach in their respiratory tract after a viral infection, or in a person having weak immune system. While iGAS infections are rare, there is a surge in cases in 2022, especially among children under the age of 10.

Why is there a surge in iGAS cases in the UK?

Investigations are currently underway on the reasons behind the surge in the number of cases of lower respiratory tract Group A Strep infections in children in the United Kingdom. The number of infections is higher than in the past 2 years as well as the pre-pandemic levels.  While there lacks evidence of the presence of new strains, the surge is most likely because of the presence of high amounts of circulating bacteria. It is impossible to identify the specific cause of the increase in iGAS infections. Combinations of factors like increased social interactions and the surge in other respiratory viruses may have contributed.

Month: 

Category: 

Topics: 

Latest E-Books

Comments