By NewsDesk   @infectiousdiseasenews

In a follow-up on the invasive Group A Streptococcus (iGAS) outbreak in mid Essex, officials with NHS Mid Essex report the total number of patients affected by the iGAS outbreak is 34 and 13 of those patients have died.

Group-A Streptococcus (GAS)/CDC

According to officials, those affected within the iGAS outbreak are older people in Braintree District, Chelmsford City and Maldon District. The majority of patients were receiving treatment for wounds, with some in care homes but most in their own homes.

Of the 34 confirmed cases, one case was identified in Basildon in 2018 and one case in Southend in February 2019. There does not appear to be a direct link between the cases in south Essex and mid Essex.

National and local health officials have put in place the following control measures to limit the spread of this infection include:

  • A programme of preventative antibiotics for the community nursing staff in mid Essex
  • Community nursing teams who usually work within the CM7 postcode area in Braintree are working only in that area for the time being to minimise the risk of the infection spreading. This is because the majority of cases have been within this area of Braintree.
  • A deep clean of all community nurse bases in mid Essex and reinforcing standard infection control measures including hand hygiene and use of personal protective equipment among NHS wants to staff continue.

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  • Swabs are being taken from adult patients being treated by mid Essex community nursing teams to check for the bacteria.
  • NHS Mid Essex Clinical Commissioning Group wants to reassure members of the public that the risk of contracting iGAS is very low. Treatment with antibiotics is usually very effective when started early.

iGAS is rare but serious. It can occur when bacteria gets into parts of the body where bacteria usually are not found, such as the blood, muscle, or the lungs. These infections are called invasive GAS. In the current outbreak patients with iGAS have suffered septicemia (blood stream) infection.