Now NINE children have died from Strep A as health chiefs reveal kids at schools battling outbreaks are being given preventative antibiotics
- A child in Northern Ireland has become the ninth to have died from Strep A
- The unidentified five-year-old was treated in hospital before dying on Monday
- It comes as experts say antibiotics could be rolled out amid surge in cases
A child in Northern Ireland has become the ninth to have died from Strep A in the ongoing outbreak, it was confirmed today.
The unidentified five-year-old girl was treated at the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children after falling ill last week but died on Monday, the BBC reported.
It comes as experts today said that current guidelines to rollout antibiotics in schools with two or more cases could be expanded given the prevalence of the infection.
‘Given the number of cases and the concers that obviously exist at the moment, those guidelines may well be adjusted and we may well see more broad antibiotic use,’ Professor Adam Finn, of the University of Bristol, said.
The five-year-old was treated at the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children, the BBC reported
Hanna Roap, who attended Victoria Primary School in Penarth, Wales, died after contracting strep A earlier this month. Her family say they have been ‘traumatised’ by her death
This map shows the rates of invasive Group A Streptococcal disease (iGAS), a serious form of Strep A infection in England’s regions. Rates are cases per 100,000 people with the outbreak highest in Yorkshire and the Humber and lowest in the East of England
Camila Rose, four, has been on a ventilator in Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool since last Sunday. She was initially sent home with an inhaler a week earlier
Preventative antibiotics could be given to children at schools affected by Strep A infections, schools minister Nick Gibb has confirmed (Andrew Matthews/PA)
It comes as preventative antibiotics could be given to children at schools affected by Strep A infections, the schools minister has confirmed.
Nick Gibb told GB News the issue was raised in the House of Lords on Monday and the use of antibiotics is an option.
Updated guidance on scarlet fever outbreaks, which are caused by Strep A, published by the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) in October sets out how antibiotics can be used as prophylaxis but a decision is taken with local outbreak control teams (OCTs) on ‘a case-by-case basis’.
It added: ‘It can be considered in exceptional circumstances by the OCT; for example, when there are reports of severe outcomes, or hospitalisations.’
Mr Gibb told GB News: ‘Lord Markham said in the House of Lords yesterday that the UK Health and Security Agency are monitoring the position and are considering those kind of issues in those schools where there is an infection.
‘This is an ongoing situation, the UKHSA are involved very closely with those schools and they will be providing further advice later on.
‘But that may well be an option for those particular schools where there is an infection.’
It comes after the deaths of at least eight children from invasive Strep A infection since September.
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