South Yorkshire public health boss issues Strep A advice to parents

Barnsley’s director of public health has issued advice to parents following the deaths of 19 children from Strep A disease.
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Strep A outbreaks have been reported in schools and hospitals throughout the UK, with pharmacies battling localised shortages of antibiotics.

Julia Burrows, executive director for public health and communities at Barnsley Council has issued advice to parents about preventing and managing Strep A infections.

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Ms Burrows said: “Group A Streptococcus (GAS) infection is caused by a common bacteria that many of us carry in our throats and on our skin, and it doesn’t always cause illness.

Strep A outbreaks have been reported in schools and hospitals throughout the UK, with pharmacies battling localised shortages of antibiotics.Strep A outbreaks have been reported in schools and hospitals throughout the UK, with pharmacies battling localised shortages of antibiotics.
Strep A outbreaks have been reported in schools and hospitals throughout the UK, with pharmacies battling localised shortages of antibiotics.

“However, GAS does cause a number of infections, some mild and some more serious.

“For some, it will cause a high temperature and sore throat (tonsillitis).

“For a very small number, it will cause a sandpaper rash and red strawberry tongue (scarlet fever).

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“In very rare circumstances, this bacteria can get into the bloodstream and cause serious illness.

“Washing your hands properly with soap and warm water for 20 seconds, using a tissue to catch coughs and sneezes, and keeping away from others when feeling unwell, will reduce the risk.

“As a parent or carer, if you feel that your child seems seriously unwell, you should trust your own judgement and make sure you talk to a health professional if your child is showing signs of deteriorating after a bout of scarlet fever, a sore throat, or a respiratory infection.

“Further information is available on the UK Health Security Agency and the NHS websites.”