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Emergency department flooding with children as Strep A death toll climbs to 15 – live


Related: Mother ‘terrified’ as daughter with Strep A infection fights for life

Emergency departments in NHS is observing a jump in young patients, as the death toll from invasive Strep A illness rose to 15.

The infection has hit the NHS during its busiest period time, with pharmacies struggling with localised shortages of antibiotics – leaving parents struggling to find medicine for their sick children.

NHS trust directors and doctors have warned of accidents and emergencies (A&Es) overflowing with children attending with winter viruses such as flu, RSV and now Strep A.

Group A strep bacteria can cause many different infections, ranging from minor illnesses to deadly diseases.

It comes as NHS England has sent a warning to healthcare leaders over the increased demand driven by Strep A concerns on Thursday with A&Es observing record delays as one-third of patients waited more than four hours to be seen, while NHS 111 services saw a spike in calls last weekend.

Experts have warned the NHS is “bursting at the seems” with staff demoralised at the standards of care.

Patients across England have faced record A&E delays as NHS performance against emergency targets slumps to a new low, new data shows.

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Strep A cases in your area as UK infections rise 30 per cent

At least 15 children have died with an invasive form of the bacteria in recent weeks, while cases of scarlet fever, which is caused by Strep A infection, have skyrocketed.

Concern has been raised as cases are higher than usual for the time of year. The latest data from the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), released on Thursday 8 December, showed the rise in cases had accelerated in the last fortnight.

Infections have been found across the country, with large concentrations of Strep A in southeast England, along with the northeast and northwest, reports my colleague Liam James:

Namita Singh9 December 2022 05:20

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How many Strep A deaths are there each year in the UK?

At least 15 children have now died from Strep A-related infections in the current outbreak.

Group A strep bacteria can cause many different illnesses, including scarlet fever, the skin infection impetigo, and strep throat.

While the vast majority of infections are relatively mild, sometimes the bacteria cause a life-threatening illness called invasive Group A Streptococcal disease (iGAS). Cases of iGAS are higher than usual this year, reports my colleague Liam James:

Namita Singh9 December 2022 05:00

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A&E ‘ overflowing’ with children hit by winter viruses as Strep A deaths climb to 15

Strep A has now been linked to the deaths of at least 15 children in the UK as A&E doctors warn emergency departments have seen a doubling in young patients in emergency departments over the last week.

The infection has hit the NHS during its busiest period time, with pharmacies struggling with localised shortages of antibiotics – leaving parents struggling to find medicine for their sick children.

NHS trust directors and doctors have warned of A&Es overflowing with children attending with winter viruses such as flu, RSV and now Strep A.

Read the details in this report from our health correspondent Rebecca Thomas:

Namita Singh9 December 2022 04:39

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Welcome to The Independent’s health blog for Friday 9 December 2022, where we provide the latest on Strep A outbreak across UK.

Namita Singh9 December 2022 04:06


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