Parents of school children are being warned to look out for symptoms of a highly infectious illness running riot through schools – and has already killed one primary school pupils.
Strep A is an invasive bacterial infection, and two children have already caught it at two separate primary schools.
Sadly, a six-year-old child died at Ashford Church of England Primary School in Surrey, and another died at Victoria Primary School in Penarth, Wales.
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According to the NHS, Strep A, or Streptococcus A, is spread by direct contact with body fluids, such as secretions from the nose and throat or wound drainage from an infected person
Casual contact, as in work and school, and household items (like toys) rarely play any role in spreading the bacteria.
The two deaths have prompted the Vale of Glamorgan Council and Victoria Primary School to issue a joint warning to parents.
They said: “Support is being provided to staff and pupils by the council’s team of educational psychologists and information from Public Health Wales has been circulated to parents where appropriate.
“It is unlikely that other pupils will be affected by the illness and severe symptoms are extremely rare.
“Sensible precautions such as regular hand-washing and not attending school when ill can reduce the risk of infection.
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“If someone who has been in contact with an individual with Strep A develops any of the following symptoms: high fever, severe muscle aches, pain in one area of the body, redness at the site of a wound, vomiting or diarrhoea, a sore throat or tonsillitis, a mild skin infection such as impetigo or a rash, they should contact their GP immediately.”
Public Health Wales confirmed it was working with the school to raise awareness of the disease.
Group A Streptococcus is the name given to a type of bacteria sometimes found in the throat or on the skin.
It usually causes mild illness like sore throats and skin infections. Rarely these bacteria can cause a severe and life-threatening illness called invasive Group A Streptococcal disease.
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