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Published On: Sat, Dec 21st, 2013

Queensland Health issues Group A streptococci warning– VIDEO

The death of a four-year-old boy due to  Group A Streptococcal (GAS) infection this past week has prompted Queensland’s Chief Health Officer, Dr Jeannette Young to issue a statewide alert.

Queensland Health Chief Health Officer, Dr Jeannette Young Image/Video Screen Shot

Queensland Health Chief Health Officer, Dr Jeannette Young
Image/Video Screen Shot

The child died from the infection in Brisbane’s Mater Children’s Hospital earlier this week, just a week following the reports of two elderly men contracting the disease and dying at the Greenslopes Private Hospital  in suburban Brisbane .

“So far this year we’ve had 265 reported cases of Invasive Group A Streptococcal infection, unfortunately resulting in seven deaths.”

“I am concerned about these numbers as they are higher than previous years when we would have seen about two to four deaths,” Dr Young said.

A four year-old child from Brisbane’s northside is the only child to have died of Strep A so far this year. The remaining six deaths were in adults.

Dr Young said health professionals believed there was more infection circulating in the community, and that people needed to be aware of the symptoms. The symptoms of Streptococcal A vary depending on the individual, but can include:

  • sore throat (known as ‘strep throat’)
  • fever
  • skin rash or school sores
  • generalised aches and pains
  • dizziness
  • confusion

In severe cases, Streptococcal A can cause toxic shock syndrome similar to that caused by the Staphylococcus aureaus (golden staph) bacteria. In extremely rare cases it can lead to the flesh-eating bacteria necrotizing fasciitis and other serious complications such as rheumatic fever.

The illness can be spread from person to person, either by direct contact with the mucus or throat of an infected person, or through contact with any infected wounds or sores on the skin.

Dr Young said most people who contracted Group A Streptococcal fully recovered after a course of antibiotics.

For more infectious disease news and information, visit and “like” the Infectious Disease News Facebook page and the Outbreak News This Week Radio Show page.

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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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