Welsh primary school pupil dies after contracting invasive Strep A | UK News

A child from a Welsh primary school has died after contracting an invasive form of Strep A.

The pupil who died attended Victoria Primary School in Penarth, located in the south of Wales, four miles from Cardiff.

Public Health Wales’ communicable disease control consultant, Dr Ardiana Gjini, confirmed the death on Thursday.

“We offer our deepest condolences to the family, friends and all those affected,” the doctor said.

“Public Health Wales cannot comment on individual cases, and we ask that the privacy of the family is respected.”

Public Health Wales are now working with the primary school to raise awareness of the infection, which according to the NHS usually causes “mild illness like sore throats and skin infections”.

Individuals should familiarise themselves with symptoms such as fever, sore throat, severe muscle aches and redness at the site of a wound.

Invasive Group A Streptococcal disease (iGAS or Strep A) can cause severe illness “when the bacteria get into parts of the body that are usually free from bacteria such as the lungs, blood or muscles”.

An electron microscope image of Group A Streptococcus. Pic: AP
An electron microscope image of Group A Streptococcus. Pic: AP

“This can happen when you are already ill or are on treatments, such as some cancer treatments, that affect your immune system. Two of the most severe types of invasive disease are necrotising fasciitis and toxic shock syndrome,” according to the NHS.

The news comes shortly after a similar incident, where a six-year-old in year 1 at a school in Surrey died after an outbreak of iGAS. It is not suggested that the two incidents are connected in any way.

Although the case at Victoria Primary School is not suggested as an outbreak, parents have been reminded to consider nasal flu vaccine for their children where appropriate.

The NHS adds that those at an increase risk of Strep A include people who are in close contact with someone who has the disease, are over the age of 65, or individuals who have already been diagnosed with diabetes, heart disease or cancer.

Most people who come into contact with the bacteria remain well and symptom-free.