Dangerous Strain of Strep Bacteria Infects More Children in the US and Europe
Federal health officials issued an alert that a particularly dangerous kind of strep infection is on the rise this winter. This rare form of strep infection killed 2 children in the US and 30 children in the UK since the end of September. These invasive Group A streptococcal infections, known as iGAS, can cause “flesh-eating” disease and toxic shock syndrome if not treated right away. iGAS infections are much less common than strep throat infections, but are much more deadly. Children are among the most vulnerable to developing an iGAS infection. If you come into contact with someone who has a strep throat, it puts you at greater risk of getting an iGAS infection. People who have or recently recovered from a virus are more likely to develop a iGAS infection if exposed strep A. Other people at higher risk for the iGAS include older adults, individuals with chronic medical conditions, IV drug users, and those with wounds or skin disease. Health officials advise Americans, especially parents, to learn the signs of iGAS, so they can seek immediate treatment.