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Number of Children Who Died in UK From Streptococcal Infection Reaches 24 – Health Agency

© East News / Hazel Thompson Each year more than 100,000 children run away from home or care in the UK
 Each year more than 100,000 children run away from home or care in the UK - Sputnik International, 1920, 22.12.2022
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The total number of children who died from invasive group A streptococcal (iGAS) infection in the United Kingdom between September 12 and December 18 has reached 24, the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) said on Thursday.
“Elevations in rates of iGAS infection in children in this early part of this season have resulted in an increased number of deaths over a relatively short period, with 21 deaths in children aged under 15 in weeks 37 to 50,” the agency said.
Previously, the agency reported two children died in Wales and one – in Northern Ireland. Thus, the total number of deaths has amounted to 24.
A total of 94 deaths have been recorded this season in England within seven days after patients were diagnosed with iGAS infection. Around 41% among them (39 cases) were elderly people over 75 years, another 17% (16 cases) were children under 10 years, according to the UKHSA.
The agency noted a high level of infection this season, with 960 cases of streptococcus confirmed in laboratories across England, which is significantly higher than the average for the same period in the last five seasons (380 cases).
In early December, the Daily Mail newspaper reported that the UK was experiencing an antibiotics shortage under spreading cases of streptococcal infection and deaths of more than 20 children. The reason for the shortage, in particular, was the increase in seasonal diseases, according to the media.
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The situation can also be exacerbated by new instructions of the UKHSA to issue a prescription in case of suspected streptococcal infection, initial symptoms of which are similar to a cold. Deputy Health Minister Maria Caulfield, in turn, denied reports about the shortage of antibiotics in the country. Subsequently, the authorities included several antibiotics effective against streptococcal infections in the list of drugs prohibited for export.
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