The HSE has confirmed that two more children have died from invasive Strep A this year.
An adult also died from the infection. In 2022, 12 people passed away from severe Strep A (iGAS). Four of those were children.
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.
The spokesperson said cases will likely be lower as we enter springtime.
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.