NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde has issued advice to parents across Glasgow as the UK child death toll following Strep A infections has risen to 15.
Data released by the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) shows 13 children under 15 have died of Strep A in England since September. Two child deaths have been recorded in Northern Ireland and Wales.
In Scotland, infections caused by Strep A have been increasing since the beginning of October, but there have been no reported deaths in children, Public Health Scotland (PHS) has confirmed.
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The most common symptoms of the infection include a mild sore throat or skin infection.
Those with the infection could also present with scarlet fever - and symptoms includes headaches, sore throats, high temperature, flushed cheeks, swollen tongue, and children may develop a pink/red rash which is rough to touch - this may start on the chest or tummy and then spread.
NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde say they are unable to confirm whether there’s any cases in Glasgow schools and nurseries.
A spokesman said: “If you or your child is unwell and you are concerned, particularly if they are getting worse, then phone your GP practice during the day. In the Out of Hours period- evenings, overnights or weekends - phone NHS24 on 111.
"If suffering from cold symptoms, including a sore throat then don’t forget that your community pharmacy can give advice and pain relief free of charge under NHS Pharmacy First.
“There is also up to date information on the NHS Inform website.”
Data from the beginning of October to December 5 shows that PHS has received reports of 13 cases of Invasive Strep A in children under 10 years - this is when the bacteria gets into the bloodstream and is a more serious, but rare, condition.
Dr Nick Phin, Director of Public Health Science at PHS, said: “The bacteria causing scarlet fever, and related infections, is usually found in the throat and on the skin.
“We would, therefore, encourage adults to ensure children wash their hands frequently with soap and water, and to cover their mouth and nose with a tissue when they cough or sneeze and then put the used tissue in the bin.
“These simple actions can help to reduce the spread of common infections like Group A strep.
“If your child is showing signs of scarlet fever, please seek advice from a health professional as most cases respond promptly to early treatment with antibiotics.
“PHS continues to work closely with NHS Boards, as well as public health colleagues across the UK, to monitor the situation.”
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