Strep A cases are rising in Ireland.
16 people, including 6 children, have died from Strep A in Ireland since October 2022.
Medical experts are concerned about the rise in invasive Strep A cases.
Of the children who died, four of them were under 10 years of age.
The other two children were aged between 10 and 17.
Over 150 cases of Strep A have been recorded since October. Nearly a third of these cases were in children under 9.
Earlier this week, the HSE confirmed that two more children have died from invasive Strep A this year.
A spokesperson for the HSE expressed concerns about a rise in iGAS cases.
They told The Independent;
“Other European countries and the UK have experienced similar upsurges. During this upsurge, children were disproportionately affected.”
Cases have started to decrease since December, but the HSE has urged parents to remain vigilant.
Many parents have been feeling concerned about the virus, but health experts have stressed that scarlet fever can be treated with antibiotics.
The HPSC in Ireland listed the symptoms of scarlet fever to look out for.
Symptoms include a fever, a rash, flushed cheeks, and a sore throat. Your child will also have a swollen tongue.
The tongue may be covered in a white coating. This coating will then peel and leave the tongue swollen and red. This is known as ‘strawberry tongue’.
The rash is typically found in the joint creases, as well as over the child’s stomach. It can feel rough, like sandpaper.
Children who contract scarlet fever often have a mild infection. Complications are rare, but they’re still possible.
Complications include ear infections, throat abscesses, and pneumonia.
In extreme cases, children may develop kidney damage, as well as heart damage, but these complications are rare if the child is treated promptly. Antibiotics will also help prevent complications.