Increase in Cases of Invasive Group A Strep Sparks Concern in Nova Scotia

Increase in Cases of Invasive Group A Strep Sparks Concern in Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia is experiencing a surge in cases of invasive group A strep, a potentially fatal bacterial infection. According to data from Nova Scotia Health, there were 96 cases of the infection reported last year, compared to 57 cases in 2018. This year has already seen 10 reported cases. While this trend is not unique to Nova Scotia, with other parts of the world also seeing an increase in cases, it is cause for concern.

Invasive group A streptococcal disease occurs when the common strep A bacteria spreads to sterile areas of the body, such as the bloodstream or soft tissues. It can cause necrotizing fasciitis, also known as flesh-eating disease. The surge in cases can be attributed to several factors. During the early years of the pandemic, public health measures aimed at reducing interactions between people inadvertently prevented the spread of not only COVID-19 but also other communicable diseases, including invasive group A infections. However, with the easing of these measures, the number of cases started to rise.

In terms of demographics, Nova Scotia has primarily seen cases of the disease in individuals over the age of 65. Children under the age of 5 and those with chronic diseases or weakened immune systems are also at a higher risk of contracting the infection. These groups are particularly vulnerable to severe complications and death.

To mitigate the risk of contracting group A strep, it is important to be aware of the red flags associated with the infection. Symptoms such as a worsening fever, decreased food and fluid intake, decreased urine production, increased lethargy, and a worsening rash should not be ignored and should prompt a visit to a healthcare provider. Invasive group A strep infections can progress rapidly, so early detection and treatment are crucial.

The increase in cases of invasive group A strep serves as a reminder that even as the world grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic, other infectious diseases continue to pose a threat. It is important to remain vigilant and prioritize public health measures to prevent the spread of both viral and bacterial infections.

FAQ Section:

Q: How many cases of invasive group A strep were reported in Nova Scotia last year?
A: According to data from Nova Scotia Health, there were 96 cases reported last year.

Q: What is invasive group A streptococcal disease?
A: It is a bacterial infection caused by the strep A bacteria that spreads to sterile areas of the body, such as the bloodstream or soft tissues.

Q: What is necrotizing fasciitis?
A: It is a severe complication of invasive group A strep, also known as flesh-eating disease.

Q: What factors contributed to the surge in invasive group A strep cases?
A: During the early years of the pandemic, public health measures unintentionally prevented the spread of not just COVID-19 but also other communicable diseases, including invasive group A infections. With the easing of these measures, the number of cases started to rise.

Q: Who is at a higher risk of contracting the infection?
A: Individuals over the age of 65, children under the age of 5, and those with chronic diseases or weakened immune systems are at a higher risk.

Q: What are the red flags associated with invasive group A strep?
A: Symptoms such as a worsening fever, decreased food and fluid intake, decreased urine production, increased lethargy, and a worsening rash should not be ignored.

Key Terms and Jargon:
– Invasive group A strep: A bacterial infection caused by the strep A bacteria that spreads to sterile areas of the body.
– Necrotizing fasciitis: Severe complication of invasive group A strep, also known as flesh-eating disease.

Suggested Related Links:
Nova Scotia Official Website
Nova Scotia Health Authority
World Health Organization

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