Our very own Denise UPDATE

Our very own Denise WON! the award, excellent achievement, very well done from us all here at Brechin NHS Tayside has four finalists in the Royal College of Nursing Scotland Nurse of the Year Awards 2024 Representing NHS Tayside in

Group A Streptococcal (GAS) infection

In the past week or so you may have heard of Strep A in the news

What is Group Strep A?

There are lots of viruses that cause sore throats, colds and coughs circulating, especially over winter. These usually resolve without needing any special medical treatment or medicines.

Children can occasionally develop a bacterial infection on top of a virus and that can make them more unwell. One of these bacteria is called GAS.

Lots of us normally carry GAS on our bodies: around 1 in 5 healthy people will grow Strep A from a swab. Therefore swabs aren’t that useful in identifying this as the cause of infections.

What are GAS infections?

Like all bacteria, GAS can cause infection. There is much more GAS around this winter than in recent years, causing a lot of children to be unwell.

GAS usually causes a mild illness with fever and a sore throat (Strep Throat) but not a runny nose or too much of a cough. Your child may be poorly for a few days but will usually recover.

One of the more serious complications linked to GAS come from invasive group A strep, known as iGAS. Such complications are rare, but can make children who have it become very sick, very quickly.

If your child has been in contact with a positive case, public health will contact you to notify you and advise you on any necessary testing or treatment.

What is Scarlet fever?

Scarlet fever is a type of GAS infection.

Symptoms generally start with fever headache, sore throat, fatigue and swollen glands.

Sometimes children develop a strawberry appearance to their tongue, and flushed cheeks with a pale circle around their mouth.

A rough sandpaper like rash usually appears within 48 hours on the tummy, then spreads to the neck, arm and legs.

After this time you may get skin peeling on the hands and feet.

What should I expect?

Symptoms of scarlet fever usually resolve after 1 week.

Antibiotics may help children recover quicker, prevent complications and reduce transmission.

If children are otherwise well, they can return to school 24 hours after commencing appropriate antibiotic treatment.

Otherwise our advice remains the same for all illnesses on when to seek help if your child is sick (see traffic light chart below)

Further advice on GAS can also be found on NHS inform:

https://www.nhsinform.scot/illnesses-and-conditions/infections-and-poisoning/streptococcus-a-strep-a/

Please see some more information from Public Health Scotland:

https://www.hps.scot.nhs.uk/a-to-z-of-topics/streptococcal-infections/group-a-streptococcal-infections/#title-container