With the number of cases of Streptococcus A (including Streptococcus pyogenes, Streptococcus dysgalactiae, etc.) infections on the rise, six pediatric patients have died since September, according to the UK Health and Safety Executive (UKHSA).
The UKHSA issued a rare alert on Friday.
If parents notice symptoms in their children, seek medical help as soon as possible to stop the disease from getting worse.
Symptoms of Streptococcus A infection usually include a sore throat, fever, etc., and can also lead to scarlet fever.
In most cases, infected individuals treated with antibiotics recover completely.
However, in rare cases, Strep A may develop into a serious or even fatal disease called invasive Strep A (iGAS).
Typically, one or two children under the age of 10 may die from Streptococcus A in the UK in a single winter.
But since September this year there have been five in England and one child in Wales has died from Streptococcus A infection.
2.3 cases of iGAS per 100,000 children aged 1-4 years in England from mid-September to mid-November, compared with an average of 0.5 cases in this data for 2017-2019, the UK Health and Safety Executive said
Among children aged 5-9 years, there were 1.1 cases per 100,000 people, compared with 0.3 cases before the outbreak.
Department officials also said there is no evidence yet of a new strain spreading.