Strep A: Schools may be given preventive antibiotics

Health / Tue 6th Dec 2022 at 01:25pm

PUPILS at schools with cases of streptococcus A could get preventative antibiotics after nine children died from infections linked to the bacteria reports the BBC.

Schools minister Nick Gibb said the use of antibiotics “is an option” and the issue had been raised in the House of Lords on Monday.

One of the latest deaths is thought to be of a five-year-old girl who attended a Belfast primary school.

The authorities are working closely with the school.

Across the rest of the UK, eight children have died due to complications from strep A bacterial infections since September.

Updated UK guidance on scarlet fever outbreaks (which are caused by strep A) in October, says antibiotics can be used to help stop new cases of strep A in settings such as schools but a decision should be taken with local outbreak-control teams on “a case-by-case basis”.

Adam Finn, professor of paediatrics at the University of Bristol, told BBC News the bar for treatment may now be lowered.

“The standard guidelines are that you wait for two cases in an institution like schools before you go out with antibiotics… but given the number of cases and the concerns that obviously exist at the moment, those guidelines may well be adjusted and we may see more broad antibiotic use.”

Mr Gibb told GB News: “Lord Markham said in the House of Lords yesterday that the UK Health and Security Agency are monitoring the position and are considering those kind of issues in those schools where there is an infection.

“This is an ongoing situation, the UKHSA are involved very closely with those schools and they will be providing further advice later on.

“But that may well be an option for those particular schools where there is an infection.”

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1 Comment for Strep A: Schools may be given preventive antibiotics:

Lucia durkan
2022-12-07 10:52:47

My 20 year okd daughter was in uni placement for primary school teaching she contracted an illness end of her first week. Fast onset sore throat progressed to fatigue loosing her colour fever shakes and shivers we are on day 5 now she’s barely eaten for five days as her throat has been too bad . Ever seen her like this !!!!! She’s been frustrated and do have I ! Believing antibiotics is the answer we persuade for days with doctors and 111. Cannot get her diagnosed for peace of mind ! Cannot obtain any form of appt at doctors or any medication? Someone please tell me why we pay nhs contributions ? Doctors are over subscribed and referred me to 111 after sn hour getting through to 111 everytime I called I’m referred back to GP. - Still unresolved five days on ! She’s still unwell now has a very horrid cough that’s co s on with the bad throat ….. still in her bed . Hospital A&E I feel is the only answer with an apparent 12 hour waiting time she’s not fit enough of up to facing this and refusing to attend . Schools have children off in local area and parents are not getting appts so how can you work out how many strep A and Scarlett fever cases there truly are in this borough ? Feels like I’m Helplessly having to look after my daughter right now with no support .

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