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Tara Cosoleto

Victorians warned as streptococcal on rise

Victorian Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton warns that streptococcal disease cases are on the rise. (Diego Fedele/AAP PHOTOS) (AAP)

Victorians are being warned that cases of invasive group A streptococcal disease are on the rise.

The bacteria is found in the throat and on the skin, and can cause conditions including strep throat, scarlet fever, pneumonia and meningitis.

In recent months, there has been an increase in Victorian presentations of group A streptococcal, particularly among children.

Young children, pregnant or post-partum women and the elderly are at a higher risk of infection, Victoria's Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said on Friday.

He urged doctors to consider testing patients who present with compatible symptoms and refer them to hospital if necessary.

But the overall risk to the general population remained low, Professor Sutton said.

An increase in group A streptococcal disease has been reported in parts of Europe over the past few months.

Some countries, including the United Kingdom, have also observed an increase in cases of scarlet fever.

The Department of Health is closely monitoring the situation in Victoria, Prof Sutton said.

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