Group A Strep

Information for patients about Group A Strep and Scarlet Fever

There are currently high rates of Group A strep and scarlet fever in the UK. Scarlet fever, which is caused by the bacteria Group A streptococcus, is usually a mild illness but it is highly infectious. It is much more common in children than in adults; it is important that children with scarlet fever are seen by their GP so that they can be started on antibiotics. This is not only to reduce the chance of their infection becoming more severe but also to stop them spreading the infection to others, especially people at higher risk of severe infections such as the elderly and those with weakened immune systems.

The rash of scarlet fever often begins with small spots on the body that then spread to the neck, arms and legs over the next 1-2 days. It is often ‘sand-paper’ like to touch but is not itchy.

Your child may also have a:

  • Sore throat/tonsillitis
  • Fever (temperature of 38°C (100.4°F) or above)
  • Painful, swollen glands in the neck
  • A red tongue (strawberry tongue)

If you think your child has Scarlet Fever please contact us

There is also information about Group A Strep on the UK Health Security Agency website here>>
Scroll down for more information including a short video from Dr Colin Brown, Director of Clinical and Emerging Infection, UK Health Security Agency.

the streptococcus bacteria

A short video with information for parents - Dr Colin Brown, Director of Clinical and Emerging Infection, UK Health Security Agency

Group A Strep (GAS) is a common bacteria which causes a range of infections including scarlet fever.  Theses infections are usually mild.
Cases of Invasive Group A Stretp (GAS) are rare.  Some current cases are presenting with sepsis-like symptoms.
Parents should trust their judgment when their child is porrly.  Speak to your GP or call 111 if you child is poorly and getting worse.