Local NHS reassures parents and carers worried around cases of ‘Strep A’

NHS Sussex has issued advice to parents and carers who may be worried around the cases of ‘Strep A’ across the UK.

Strep A (Group A streptococcus) is a common bacteria which causes a range of infections including scarlet fever.

Scarlet fever is usually a mild illness, but it is highly infectious, and we are seeing more cases than we usually do at this time of year.

Early treatment of scarlet fever with antibiotics is important to reduce the risk of complications such as pneumonia or a bloodstream infection.

These infections are caused by the bacteria getting into parts of the body where it is not normally found, such as the lungs or bloodstream. 

It is important to highlight there are lots of viruses that cause sore throats, colds and coughs at this time of year, and the majority of these are resolved without medical intervention.

The symptoms for scarlet fever and Strep A are detailed in full, along with pictures, on the NHS website:

The service is currently seeing more people coming forward for advice and treatment from NHS services in relation to their child’s health. The majority of these are related to mild illnesses and are not serious. This has meant, however, that NHS services are currently very busy and some people are having to wait longer to be seen.

Dr Dinesh Sinha, Chief Medical Officer for NHS Sussex, said:

“Infection with Strep A bacteria usually causes a sore throat, scarlet fever 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.

“I would stress that most people who come into contact with Strep A infections remain well and symptom-free and most illnesses that are caused by it are mild. However, anyone who feels their child is seriously unwell should contact NHS 111.”


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