Creating a healthier, better connected Gippsland.

Health alert – Update on invasive group A streptococcal disease 20 March 2023

Status: Active

Date issued: 20 March 2023 – Update to Advisory issued 23 December 2022

Issued by: Professor Brett Sutton, Chief Health Officer

Issued to: Health professionals

Key messages

  • Invasive group A streptococcal disease (iGAS) including cases of severe illness, particularly among children, continues to be observed in Victoria.
  • iGAS is caused by infection with a bacterium known as Group A Streptococcus (GAS), which also commonly causes skin and throat infections. Clinical manifestations of iGAS include sepsis and severe invasive infection.
  • Young children, pregnant or post-partum women, and the elderly are at increased risk of iGAS.
  • Clinicians should be alert to the potential for iGAS among children presenting with sore throat and fever. Consider testing and empiric treatment for patients with signs of GAS infection and urgent hospital referral for those with clinical illness compatible with iGAS.
  • Parents and guardians should be alert to the signs and symptoms of GAS infection and serious bacterial infection and know when to seek immediate medical care.
  • Parents and guardians should ensure children are up to date with routine immunisations, to help prevent viral infections that increase the risk of iGAS.
  • The overall risk of iGAS for the general population remains low.
  • Read the full advisory: Health warning on invasive group A streptococcal disease.

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