Search icon


08th Dec 2022

HSE advises children with cough or sore throat and fever to stay home

Sarah McKenna Barry

The HSE pointed to concerns about Strep A.

Amid concerns about Strep A in children, the HSE has issued advice to parents and schools regarding school attendance.

According to RTÉ, the health body has said that children with a cough, sore throat and fever should be kept home from school.

In a letter issued to schools, the HSE pointed to concerns about a “large increase in general viral infections”, as well as concerns regarding Group A Strep (iGAS).

However, the letter stated that the rate of serious infection related to Strep A is “below the level seen before the Covid-19 pandemic”.

The HSE also stressed the importance of covering coughs, sneezes, good hand hygiene and ensuring that children are up to date on their required vaccinations.

The letter was released shortly after the Chief Medical Officer confirmed that a child in Ireland has died from Strep A.

Breda Smyth told Virgin Media News: “Unfortunately, I can confirm that there has been one invasive Group A strep-associated death here in Ireland in a child.

“This is a very sad event, so I would like to extend my deepest sympathy to the family of the bereaved.”

Smyth said that she understands there is a level of anxiety regarding Strep A, but stated that it was important for parents to know that “the majority of cases of Group A Strep are mild infections and can be treated with antibiotics”.

On Tuesday, the HSE issued a statement noting a small increase in iGAS since the start of October.

It read: “A common presentation of GAS in children can be scarlet fever which causes the following symptoms: fever, a raised rash which can feel rough to the touch like sandpaper, sore throat, and a swollen tongue.”

“Whilst GAS infections, including scarlet fever, are common; the more serious Invasive Group A Streptococcal (iGAS) infections are rare.”

For information about iGAS, visit the HSPC’s website here.

Related links: