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Strep A: Everything You Need to Know

  • Private GP Services
  • Medically Reviewed By: Dr Daniel Beck MRCGP MBChB BSc(hons) DCH PGDip
Strep A

by Prime Health Partners on Strep A, Streptococcus pyogenes outbreak and Private GP Services

There is currently a lot of concern regarding higher than usual seasonal rates of Group A Streptococcal infections and very sadly a small number of child deaths from invasive Group A Strep.
If you, or a loved one, are concerned that you might be experiencing symptoms of strep A, please refer to the information below to consider if you should seek medical advice.  Prime Health Partners offers same-day appointments and we are now able to perform a rapid (5-minute) test for Group A strep at your appointment. We are able to prescribe a variety of suitable antibiotics that takes account of the current constrained supplies of some antibiotics.

Symptoms of a Strep A infection or Scarlet Fever

 

  • The first signs of scarlet fever can be flu-like symptoms, including a high temperature, a sore throat and swollen neck glands (a large lump on the side of your neck)
  • A rash appears 12 to 48 hours later. It looks like small, raised bumps and starts on the chest and tummy, then spreads. The rash makes your skin feel rough, like sandpaper.
  • On white skin, the rash looks pink or red. It might be harder to see a change in colour on brown and black skin, but you can still feel the rash and see the raised bumps.
  • As the rash fades the skin may begin to peel.
  • The tongue generally looks red and bumpy (strawberry tongue), and it’s often covered with a white coating early in the disease.
  • You may also experience muscle aches, nausea and vomiting.

Most strep A infections are not serious and can be treated with antibiotics.
But rarely, the infection can cause serious problems. This is called invasive group A strep (iGAS).
Strep A

What to do if your child is unwell

 

It can be difficult to tell when a child is seriously ill, but the main thing is to trust your instincts.
You know better than anyone else what your child is usually like, so you’ll know when something is seriously wrong.
If your child does not seem to be seriously ill, you can usually look after them at home. They should feel better in a few days.
If they’re uncomfortable, you can give them children’s paracetamol or children’s ibuprofen please ensure you follow the dosing instructions for your child’s age and do not exceed the maximum dose and as always keeping well hydrated is important.

Seek Urgent Medical Attention

  • your child is unwell and is getting worse
  • your child is feeding or eating much less than normal
  • your child has fewer wet nappies than usual or is peeing less than usual, or shows other signs of dehydration
  • your baby is under 3 months and has a temperature of 38C, or is 3 to 6 months and has a temperature of 39C or higher
  • your child is very tired or irritable
  • It’s important to trust your instincts if your child is unwell. Get medical help if you think you need it.
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