Spike in severe illness caused by strep A bacteria is ‘global phenomenon’ — including in Canada – CBC

Bacterial infection often leads to milder illness, but in rare cases can cause severe disease, rapid death

Apr 18, 2023

As various countries continue to report high levels of invasive group A streptococcal (iGAS) infections — which cause severe illness, and in rare cases death within days — Canadian physicians are also raising alarms over a rise in serious cases this season.

The infections are linked to a common, often-harmless bacteria known as group A streptococcus. Usually it’s known for milder illnesses like strep throat or scarlet fever, which are typically treated with antibiotics.

But when bacteria enter the blood or deep tissue, people can develop more invasive, life-threatening conditions such as necrotizing fasciitis or toxic shock syndrome. In those dire cases, complications can involve massive damage to the skin and soft tissues, leading to amputations or even death, sometimes in as little as 12 to 24 hours after infection.

In Quebec, the number of iGAS infections recently spiked 56 per cent compared to the pre-pandemic average for the same time period, according to data collected by the province’s Ministry of Health and Social Services (MSSS).

Read more: https://www.cbc.ca/news/health/spike-in-severe-illness-caused-by-strep-a-bacteria-is-global-phenomenon-including-in-canada-1.6813665

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