Strep A outbreak claims 14th life in Essex

Invasive Group A Strepococcus (iGAS) has now claimed its fourteenth life in Essex outbreak. Picture:

Invasive Group A Strepococcus (iGAS) has now claimed its fourteenth life in Essex outbreak. Picture: GETTY IMAGES - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Another person has fallen victim to the Strep A outbreak in Essex - bringing the number of people to have died to 14.

The latest death related to the outbreak of bacteria Group A streptococcus (iGAS), which has affected 37 people, was confirmed by Mid Essex CCG yesterday.

The person who died was already known to the CCG as being infected and following an investigation into their death, doctors confirm that it was related to the disease.

Most infected during this outbreak are older people in Braintree District and the neighbouring area in West Essex, Chelmsford City and Maldon District.

The majority of patients were receiving treatment for wounds, with some in care homes but most in their own homes.

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A spokesperson from Mid Essex CCG said: "Following regular communications with the patients and their families affected by this outbreak, we have been informed that a patient in mid Essex who had previously been treated for iGAS earlier in the year has sadly died.

"Our thoughts are with their family.

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"We are reporting this retrospectively having completed investigations to conclude that their death is linked to this outbreak."

Streptococcal infections are usually unpleasant but not life-threatening.

They typically cause illnesses like tonsillitis or scarlet fever - but this invasive infection can cause pneumonia, sepsis or a 'flesh-eating' condition called necrotising fasciitis.

Minor strep A infections can be treated with antibiotics.

However, the NHS recommends seeing your GP if you have persistent or severe symptoms. The risk of infection is very low.

Control measures in place to prevent spread of Strep A

According the Mid Essex CCG, the control measures put in place to limit the spread of this infection include:

- A programme of preventative antibiotics for the community nursing staff in mid Essex

- Community nursing teams who usually work within the CM7 postcode area in Braintree are working only in that area for the time being to minimise the risk of the infection spreading. This is because the majority of cases have been within this area of Braintree.

- A deep clean of all community nurse bases in mid Essex and reinforcing standard infection control measures including hand hygiene and use of personal protective equipment among NHS wants to staff continue.

- Swabs are being taken from adult patients being treated by mid Essex community nursing teams to check for the bacteria.

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