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Children's health

05th Apr 2023

HSE explains how children contract Strep A

Kat O'Connor

Parents have been concerned about the rising cases.

The HSE has issued an update to parents as they grow concerned about rising Strep A cases. Parents have been told to look out for the symptoms of the illness, but how do children contract it?

The HSE has shared more information on Strep A in a bid to explain how it is spreading in Ireland.

How Strep A is spread

According to the HSE, Strep A is spread through coughs and sneezes, as well as wounds. The bacteria is spread through close contacts, even if you don’t have symptoms.

However, the HSE confirmed that you’re at a higher risk of spreading Strep A if you’re ill.

You may have the Strep A bacteria in your body, but won’t have any symptoms. People in these cases don’t usually need treatment.

However, those who do have symptoms including a sore throat, a fever, chills and scarlet fever rash may need treatment.

Other symptoms include muscle aches, chills and minor skin infections.

Most children’s symptoms can be treated with Calpol or ibuprofen. However, parents have been urged to contact their GP if children develop complications.

Strep A

Strep A can also cause complications and other infections

According to the HSE, Strep A can cause infections in your:

  • skin
  • soft tissue (muscles, tendons and ligaments)
  • respiratory system (nose, throat and lungs)

These infections include scarlet fever, impetigo, cellulitis, tonsillitis, and pharyngitis, but they are rare.

Invasive group A strep (iGAS) is the most serious infection linked to strep A.

Invasive group A strep can cause sepsis, severe infections in muscle, fat and skin tissue.

It can also cause organ failure, as well as a stark drop in blood pressure.

The HSE has stressed that these infections are very rare, but you should contact emergency services if you believe your child has iGas.

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