The UK Health Protection Agency has issued an alert for a rise in Group A streptococcus infections, which have killed at least six people since September. Doctors say it is a very common disease, even in Spain, and can be successfully treated with antibiotics if detected between 48 and 72 hours after development.
It also appears to be the latest example of the pathogen seeking to reclaim its position after two and a half years. SARS-CoV-2 covered the entire spectrum of infection, Although this is the only rapid diagnostic test available in all autonomous communities in our country, doctors do not see a significant increase in infection by this bacterium.
“Without a disproportionate number of cases, there have been more diagnoses than usual in recent months,” he says. Francisco Javier Membrillo de NovelsSpokesperson of the Spanish Society of Infectious Diseases and Clinical Microbiology, Seimc.
“It’s the same thing we find now with other diseases like bronchiolitis,” he continues. Streptococcus is spread through coughing or sneezing, as well as through contact with mucous membranes. youngest child, Not being exposed to different pathogens this time, they now contract them, “We can say that we now see all strep infections from this year and the past.”
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There is no official data on incidence in Spain (a 2019 study estimated 2.5 cases per 100,000 children), but in the United Kingdom it is several times higher than in pre-pandemic years. In the age range of 1 to 4 years, it increased from 0.5 cases to 2.3 per 100,000 persons. Between 5 and 9 years of age, 0.3 to 1.1 infections per 100,000 children. The total number of deaths has risen from four to eight, the BBC reports.
“These patients’ conditions must be assessed,” notes Heaven’s pediatrician. belen aguirrezabalaga, “Diagnosed within the first 48-72 hours of development, which is normal, It is treated with penicillin and there is no problem“. Therefore, without more details, they believe the deaths may occur in children with some previous condition that affects the immune system.
symptoms of strep infection
“Group A beta-hemolytic strep is always present, we’ve never shut it down,” he says. The pediatrician has not seen a particularly significant increase in infections in his office in Gijón. ,They are very common throat infection, purulent tonsillitis, with pus, very high fever,
Sometimes it manifests itself on the skin, “It is a specific strain that has produced scarlet fever or ‘carpet,’ as it was formerly called.” These are small bumps on the skin “more obvious than they appear, red but not very obvious.”
Aguirrezabalaga explains that fevers caused by streptococcus tend to be very high, occur quite suddenly and do not subside easily. In addition, children’s tonsils become swollen, giving them a “typically hoarse voice”. Antibiotic treatment is effective and resistance to penicillin has not been observed. Therefore, it is recommended that when faced with a picture of these characteristics, parents use antipyretics and make an appointment with their general practitioner without the need to go to the emergency room.
Francisco Javier Membrillo also focuses on common infections and rare serious illnesses. , Deaths are very rare: immunocompromised children always have a higher risk, but not necessarily“. Bacteremia, when the pathogen enters the bloodstream, is rare and can be adequately treated with antibiotics.
The UK Food Safety Agency links this rise in cases to the reactivation of social contact after the lifting of Covid control measures and does not warn of new strains that could cause more problems. Yet, a 2019 study the Lancet Warned of an increase in the number of infections since 2014.
Although this is not linked to antibiotic resistance, Seimc spokesmen warn of the danger of using these drugs for viral processes – for which they are not effective – and point to the importance of managing them correctly at the population level. Huh.
Also remember that it’s important to differentiate a mild infection from a serious condition “in which the fever persists, the child has shortness of breath, pain in the chest, lips, arms or legs, drowsiness, changes in irritability or There is a change in the level. Awareness”.