Invasive Group A Streptococcal infections (iGAS) in mid Essex
You may already be aware from local and national media coverage that an outbreak of invasive Group A Streptococcal infections (iGAS) has occurred in mid Essex. The outbreak has affected elderly people being treated for chronic wounds in the Braintree, Maldon and Chelmsford areas. There was also a single case in Basildon in 2018 and another in Southend in February 2019.
To date there have been 32 cases, and sadly 12 patients have died. Most of the patients affected are elderly (the average age is 87) and who had been receiving care for chronic wounds in the community either in their own homes or in some cases in care homes. No new cases of iGAS cases have been reported in mid Essex since last week.
What is Group A streptococcus?
Group A streptococcus (GAS) is a bacteria that can be found in the throat and on the skin and for many people will not cause any illness. Most Group A streptococcus infections cause relatively mild illnesses such as ‘strep throat’ (a sore throat), scarlet fever or a skin infection. There is an extremely low risk of serious infection to healthy people but on rare occasions, these bacteria can enter the body and cause severe and even life-threatening conditions. This infection is called Invasive Group A streptococcal disease (IGAS).
How the incident is being managed?
An incident management team has been established to put measures in place to control the incident and closely monitor the situation, and is led by Mid Essex CCG with support from Public Health England, Provide, NHS England and NHS Improvement.
Mid Essex CCG has provided a free from landlines helpline for anybody who is concerned about this outbreak. The helpline is open Monday to Friday 09:00–17:00 and the number is 03000 032124. The CCG also has a website being kept updated that you might wish to signpost residents to: https://midessexccg.nhs.uk/news/1056-streptococcus-outbreak-in-mid-essex
If you have any questions please contact [email protected]6.-2017-04-EoE-iGAS-Factsheet1