While the increase in cases seems less strong in recent days, the disease has caused 9 deaths in France, including 6 after hospitalization. Three children died before they could be hospitalized.
The latest data from the Public Health France report on the resurgence of invasive group A streptococcal infections show “a decrease” in cases, although the numbers are “not yet consolidated”.
But the latest human toll is cold with 59 cases registered in France, resulting in 6 deaths of 5 children and an adult. Three other deaths were also recorded before the patients were admitted to hospital. These three children who died suddenly were aged 8 months, 2 and 3 years.
In its report published on Thursday, December 22, Public Health France also notes the “continued increase in the incidence of scarlet fever in children in the emergency room” in recent days, while consultations with SOS Doctors “suggest a trend of stagnation, but at one level that remains high”.
As a reminder, the current epidemiological situation of infections with the bacterium Streptococcus A is not “linked to the emergence of a new bacterial strain, but mainly to two already known genotypes (emm12 and emm1). This sudden increase in cases “could, at least in part, is due to a setback in post-barrier measures in children whose immune systems have not been in contact with the strains that normally circulate. These infections are also often secondary infections of ‘viral respiratory infections, which are also on the rise’.
As a reminder, symptoms of a non-invasive group A strep infection include fever, sore throat, and mild skin infections such as rashes, sores, bumps, and blisters.
But there are also four key signs to look out for, according to the NHS, British health authorities:
– Intense muscle pain
– Localized muscle soreness
– Redness around a wound
According to Santé Publique France, the bacterium is transmitted by respiratory droplets and direct contact (nasal secretions, skin lesions, etc.).
To limit the risk of transmission, authorities strongly recommend adopting the same barrier measures used against winter viruses:
– wearing a mask for people with respiratory infections,
– sneeze or cough into the bend of the elbow.