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Strep A Scarlet Fever: DEADLY infection KILLS several kids, new cases rise by over 4.5 times- Check causes and symptoms HERE

Strep A Infection: Health officials in the U.K. are warning parents to be alert after a recent spread of severe Strep A infections resulted in the deaths of at least seven children. The Health Security Agency issued a rare health warning on Friday urging parents to monitor their children for the symptoms of the illness.

Strep A Scarlet Fever: DEADLY infection KILLS several kids, new cases rise by over 4.5 times- Check causes and symptoms HERE

Strep A: After the 'tomato virus' and 'monkeypox virus' now a new virus is gradually growing and spreading. Health officials in the U.K. are warning parents to be alert after a recent spread of severe Strep A infections resulted in the deaths of at least seven children. The Health Security Agency issued a rare health warning on Friday urging parents to monitor their children for the symptoms of the illness, which can include fever, sore throat, and swelling of glands ( called lymph nodes) in the neck. According to sources, at least seven children have died of severe cases of the infection since September. While reported cases have risen over 4.5 times the amount seen in recent years.

Strep A: The New Virus 

Streptococcal pharyngitis or strep throat or scarlet fever is a disease caused by bacteria called 'Group A Streptococcus'. Strep throat damages the throat and tonsils. Tonsils are two glands in the throat at the back of the mouth. Strep throat can also damage the larynx (voice box). Common symptoms include fever, sore throat, and swelling of glands ( called lymph nodes) in the neck. Strep throat is spread by close contact with a sick person. Confirming that a person has strep throat requires a test called a throat culture. However, apart from this test, the symptoms can indicate a possible strep throat. Antibiotics may be helpful if a person has strep throat. Antibiotics are medicines that kill bacteria. They are mainly used to prevent complications such as rheumatic fever rather than to shorten the duration of the illness.

Strep A: Symptoms

The main symptoms of strep throat include a sore throat, fever of 38°C (100.4°F) or higher, tonsil pus (yellow or green fluid made from dead bacteria and white blood cells), and swollen lymph nodes. In this case, there may be other symptoms as below:

  • Pain in the head (headache)
  • Vomiting or tendency to vomit (vomiting)
  • Abdominal pain
  • Muscle pain
  • A rash (small red bumps) on the body, or face or throat. This is a definite symptom, but it is often not seen.
  • A person with strep throat will develop symptoms one to three days after coming into contact with a sick person.

Strep A: Role Of GAS Bacteria

Strep throat is caused by a type of bacteria called group A beta-hemolytic streptococcus (GAS). Other bacteria or viruses can also cause sore throats. People contract strep throat from direct, close contact with a sick person. The disease can spread easily when people are crowded together. Examples of crowding are the military or the presence of people in schools. GAS bacteria can dry out and mix with dust, but in that case it cannot make people sick. Bacteria in the environment can make people sick for up to 15 days if they are moist. Moist bacteria can be found on objects such as toothbrushes. These bacteria can also be present in food, but are usually not seen. People who eat food can get sick. Twelve percent of children with normal symptoms of strep throat have GAS bacteria in their throats.

Strep A: Diagnosis

Laboratory tests: The main way to know if a person has strep throat is to do a test called a throat culture. This test is accurate 90 to 95 percent of the time. There is another test called the Rapid Strep Test, or RADT. The rapid strep test is faster than a throat culture, but it can diagnose the disease correctly only 70 percent of the time. Both tests are able to show if a person does not have strep throat. In 98 percent of cases, these tests correctly detect it.

Strep A: Similar Symptoms

Strep throat has some symptoms similar to other diseases. As a result, it is difficult to know if a person has strep throat without a throat culture or rapid strep test. A person who has a fever and sore throat with a cough, runny nose, diarrhea, and red itchy eyes is more likely to have a sore throat caused by the virus. Infectious mononucleosis can cause swollen neck lymph nodes and a sore throat, fever, and enlarged tonsils. The disease can be diagnosed by a blood test. However, there is no specific treatment for infectious mononucleosis.

Strep A: Treatment

Some people get strep throat more often than others. One way to stop them from getting strep throat is to have the tonsils removed. Three or more bouts of strep throat in a year may be a good reason to have tonsils removed. Waiting is also the right course of action. Strep throat usually lasts a few days without treatment. Treatment with antibiotics usually resolves symptoms within 16 hours. The main reason for concomitant treatment with antibiotics is to reduce the risk of more serious disease. For example, a heart attack known as rheumatic fever or a collection of pus in the throat, called a retropharyngeal abscess. Antibiotics work best if started within 9 days of symptoms. However, homeopathy is the most effective treatment for chronic pharyngitis.

Strep throat symptoms usually improve within three to five days, with or without treatment. Treatment with antibiotics reduces the risk of serious illness. As a result, the spread of disease cannot happen easily. Children can return to school 24 hours after the first dose of antibiotics. Strep throat is a variant of sore throat or pharyngitis. About 11 million people in the United States suffer from sore throats each year. Most sore throats are caused by viruses. Group A beta-hemolytic streptococcus bacteria cause 15 to 30 percent of sore throats in children. It accounts for 5 to 20 percent of sore throats in adults. The disease usually occurs in late winter and early spring.

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