#childsafety | Parents warned over Strep A infection after six-year-old dies following bacteria outbreak school


Parents warned over Strep A infection after six-year-old dies and another is rushed to hospital following bacteria outbreak at Surrey primary school which causes ‘Victorian disease’ scarlet fever

  • One child has died after a rare bacteria outbreak at a Surrey primary school
  • The six-year-old attended Ashford Church of England Primary School
  • A second child is being treated in hospital with a course of antibiotics 

Parents have been warned about their children’s safety after a young child died and another is being treated in hospital following a rare bacteria outbreak in a primary school.

The child who died is understood to be a six-year-old who attended Ashford Church of England Primary School in Surrey, who tragically died from the invasive Group A streptococcal (iGAS) infection, which leads to Scarlet Fever

At the same time, health officials confirmed there was an outbreak of Scarlet Fever at Annanhill Primary School in Kilmarnock following a rise in cases across Scotland.

There has also been an increase in cases of the Victorian-era disease in Sheffield, as health experts warned residents last week to stop the disease from spreading.

The other child affected also attended the school in Surrey and is believed to be recovering in hospital. Staff and pupils have been given antibiotics by specialists from the UK Health Security Agency. 

A third child from the same area of Ashford was also said to be suffering from Scarlet Fever, often caused by Strep Throat.

Letters advising of the Year 1 pupil’s death were emailed to parents of the CoE school.

The child who died is understood to be a six-year-old who attended Ashford Church of England Primary School, who tragically succumbed to the invasive Group A streptococcal (iGAS) infection

Today, a spokesman for the UK Health Security Agency said: ‘Specialists are arranging for antibiotics to be offered to pupils and staff at a Surrey school as a precautionary measure, following two cases of invasive Group A streptococcal infection (iGAS).

‘Sadly, one pupil from Ashford Church of England Primary School has died and another is in hospital, but showing positive signs of recovery.’

What is Strep A? 

Strep A is a Group A streptococcal (iGAS) infection, which affects the throat and skin

Most cases cause only mild illness, but some can be life-threatening 

The infection can lead to Scarlet Fever, which was rife in the Victorian Era

Symptoms include a rash on the throat, tongue and skin, and vomiting and diarrhoea

The illness is treatable with antibiotics 

 

Source: UKHSA  

Dr Claire Winslade, health protection consultant at UKHSA South East, said: ‘We are extremely saddened to hear about the death of a pupil at Ashford Church of England School, and our thoughts are with their family, friends and the school community.

‘As a precautionary measure, we have recommended antibiotics to pupils and staff in the same year groups as the individuals affected. We have provided advice to the school to help prevent further cases and will continue to monitor the situation.

‘Information has been shared with parents about the signs and symptoms of iGAS, which include high fever with severe muscle aches, pain in one area of the body and unexplained vomiting or diarrhoea. Anyone with these symptoms should call NHS 111 immediately.’

‘Infection with Group A Streptococcus bacterium usually causes a sore throat or skin rash and is passed by physical contact or through droplets from sneezing or coughing. In very rare cases, the infection can become invasive and enter parts of the body where bacteria aren’t normally found, which can be serious.’

Ruth Hutchinson, Director of Public Health, Surrey County Council said: ‘We are deeply saddened by the death of a pupil at Ashford Church of England School and we offer our sincere condolences to their family, friends and the whole school community, who are in our thoughts.

‘Our school relationships team, available 24/7, has provided the school with guidance during this tragic time and our public health team are working closely with UKHSA, school leaders and health partners to take appropriate health protection measures and ensure children, parents and carers at the school are appropriately supported.’

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