Keep your child safe this winter: Strep A

Published on: Thursday 22 December 2022

Recent demands for urgent, same day appointments are being linked to parental concerns over their child becoming unwell and contracting a Group A streptococcus (Strep A) infection.


Strep A is responsible for infections such as tonsillitis, pharyngitis, scarlet fever, impetigo and cellulitis. Strep A is usually a mild infection and can initially present with similar symptoms to the common cold or flu (such as a sore throat, headache, fever and chills).


Strep A-specific symptoms may include a fine, pinkish or red body rash and on darker skins the rash can be more difficult to detect visually, but will have a sandpapery feel.


The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) has recently advised that a nasal spray vaccine that protects children against flu may also help protect against Strep A infections. It found that rates of strep A were lower in areas where the vaccine was offered to all primary-age children when it was first being used.


Dr Meena Nathan, GP Clinical lead for Grenfell, says: “In the North Kensington area we have seen increased parental concern that their child’s illness might be Strep A-related.


“The majority of Strep A infections are mild and can be treated with antibiotics. However if your child has a raised temperature and isn’t eating or drinking as usual, or your baby has a dry nappy for over 12 hours, then there is a risk of dehydration and you should call NHS 111 immediately, or contact your GP surgery for advice.”


UKHSA provides more information in a video HERE.