#StrepA Update, Scarlet Fever

The weekly update from Public Health Scotland published on 14th of December 2022 is as follows:

In the most recent time period (week ending 11 December) there have been 967 laboratory reports of GAS – Group A Streptococcus. This compares with between 300 and 480 reports per week during peaks observed in the period since 2016.

number of laboratory reports of Group A Streptococcus (GAS), 2016/17 to 11 December 2022, Scotland

Currently, there is an increase in upper respiratory tract GAS being reported in Scotland (the proxy measure for scarlet fever).

Overall numbers are now well beyond those seen in previous years.

In the most recent time period (week ending 11 December) there have been 818 upper respiratory tract GAS (scarlet fever proxy) reports. This compares with between 160 and 270 reports per week during peaks observed in previous years.

 Invasive GAS (iGAS) is an infection where the bacteria are isolated from a normally sterile body site, such as the blood.

In the most recent time period (week ending 11 December) there have been six new iGAS cases reported across all age groups. This compares with between 12 and 18 cases per week during peaks observed in previous years.

Data from the beginning of October to 11 December 2022 show that PHS has received reports of 12 IGAS cases in children under 10 years . This is a reduction of one case from last week following a denotification.

More information here: NHS Inform Streptococcus A (strep A)

To help reduce the risk of picking up or spreading infections:

  • wash your hands properly with soap for 20 seconds
  • use a disposable tissue to catch coughs and sneezes
  • keep away from others if you feel unwell

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