should we be worried about the resurgence of cases?

On 6 December 2022, the Directorate General for Health (DGS) issued a warning regarding “Resurgence of Invasive Streptococcus A Infections”. Public Health France reports on Thursday, December 22, according to figures stopped on December 11, 59 cases of children, including six deaths, since the beginning of November. At the beginning of December, three adult cases were also reported, one of whom died.

Occitanie, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes and New Aquitaine are of particular concern. In Europe, several countries are reporting deaths from streptococcal A infections.

More cases

The first investigations “suggests that these cases are not related and that these reports are probably not due to the emergence of a strain with greater virulence, but rather an unusual increase in the number of cases linked to different strains”. A reassuring element? For Benjamin Davido, specialist in infectious diseases at the Raymond-Poincaré hospital in Garches (Hauts-de-Seine), the answer is of course “yes”.

originates “a little more contagious” has arisen and is transferred with “relaxation of barrier movements”, explains the infectious disease doctor. Result: a “quadruple epidemic”believes Benjamin Davido: Covid-19, influenza, bronchiolitis and streptococcal A. Although cases of streptococcal infections remain rare.

In 2000, there were 1.2 cases of invasive strep A infections per 100,000 people. In 2019, it was 4.4 cases out of 100,000 people, the DGS said in an urgent notice dated December 15 and addressed to health professionals. Since September 2022, DGS has noted an increase in group A streptococcal infections. “Since December 15, cases must be reported”explains Benjamin Davido. “There is special vigilance, as there was before The monkeypox (monkey pox). This will make it possible to understand the conditions under which this bacterium spreads.suggests the infectious disease doctor.

Symptoms similar to Covid-19

Another reassuring element: “It’s a disease we know well”continues Benjamin Davido.

“Streptococcus A is responsible for many mild infections (angina, impetigo) but can also be responsible for sometimes fatal invasive infections (toxic shock syndrome, necrotizing fasciitis)”explains the Institut Pasteur on its website.

“You have to worry when a child has angina that spreads over time, that he has a fever of more than 39°C, that he has diarrhea… He is a Covid imitator, so we see the importance of medical advice.”, emphasizes Benjamin Davido. Vigilance also if there is a case involved.

There are risk factors that can lead to a severe form. For adults: being over 65, extensive skin lesions, diabetes, cancer, immunosuppression, heart problems or even hemopathy (blood disease). For children: be under 10 years of age. Note that newborns can also catch it if their mother is infected.

“It may be the flu that will save us from this affair”

The number of cases fell from 4.4 per 100,000 people in 2019 to 1.5 in 2021. A decrease probably due to the barrier measures introduced against Covid-19. “If there is a resumption of barrier movement, maybe there will be control of this infection. That is my hope”, explains Benjamin Davido. He hopes that the flu epidemic in particular will encourage the French to put on the mask. “It may be the flu that will save us from this affair”he likes to think.

The infectious disease specialist therefore recommends “Return to Good Deeds”. “The first step for children is to wash their hands. It is also ventilation of closed spaces »he enumerates.

He also suggests wearing a mask “if we have to take the kids shopping”e.g. “Also for parents, because streptococcal A infection is found in adults. » Like Covid-19, Streptococcus A is transmitted by respiratory droplets. Wearing a mask therefore protects you and the children against the current epidemics: Covid-19, influenza, bronchiolitis and streptococcus A. It might motivate some of them a few days before the end of the year party. .

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