Four more children die from Strep A as death toll rises to 25

Health chiefs are continuing to see a rise in the number of cases (Picture: Getty Images/MedicalRF)

At least 25 children have now died in England from Strep A, new figures show.

The bacteria can cause many different infections, ranging from minor illnesses to deadly diseases.

Illnesses caused by Strep A include the skin infection impetigo, scarlet fever and strep throat.

Dr Obaghe Edeghere, UKHSA incident director, said: ‘We are continuing to see a rise in scarlet fever and “strep throat” and this is understandably concerning for parents.

‘However I would stress that the condition can be easily treated with antibiotics and it is very rare that a child will go on to become more seriously ill.’

According to the UK Health Security Agency, there have been 151 cases of Strep A in children aged one to four so far this season.

The total compares to 194 cases in same age group – across the whole year of the last comparably high season – in 2017 to 2018.

Meanwhile, Public Health Scotland announced yesterday that two children aged under 10 in Scotland have died with Strep A infection since October 3.

The agency said it is aware of seven deaths among invasive group A streptococcal infections (iGAS) cases between October 3 and December 25.

Two of the deaths were in children under 10.

Dr Edeghere added: ‘Over the winter, there are lots of illnesses circulating that can make children unwell and so it is important to avoid contact with other people if you are feeling unwell, wash your hands regularly and thoroughly and catch coughs and sneezes in a tissue.

‘I would also urge all those eligible for free winter vaccines to take advantage of these.

‘Most winter illnesses can be managed at home and NHS.UK has information to help parents look after children with mild illness.

‘However please do make sure you speak to a healthcare professional if you believe your child is getting worse for instance they are feeding or eating less than normal, are dehydrated, has a high temperature that won’t go down, is very hot and sweaty or seems more tired or irritable than normal.’

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