At a nearby school, two other cases of the fatal virus that claimed the life of a six-year-old child have been identified.
The extremely contagious Group A streptococcal (iGAS) illness, which causes scarlet fever, claimed the life of the Year 1 student from the Ashford Church of England primary school in Surrey last week.
A second student from the same school was hospitalized but is reportedly on the mend now.
At the neighboring Echelford School, two students in Years 1 and 6 have been diagnosed with Strep A, and a third student has scarlet fever, according to the UK Health Security Agency.
All parents of children at Echelford reportedly received a letter alerting them that the drinking water fountains had been turned off and that staff members were closely watching the students.
‘Parents are of course becoming quite worried about this epidemic, particularly when a youngster died last week,’ a local parent said.
Every parent’s greatest fear, they say. Even though there are already at least four instances in the neighborhood at two separate schools, we are being urged to keep taking our children to school, but it seems very hazardous.
Will our kids be secure? It seems to be a really bad scenario. Although the school and health officials are attempting to downplay everything, there must be a great deal of anxiety about this.
Parents were allegedly informed by senior staff at Echelford Primary School that they had reported to the UKHSA that they had verified one incidence of Scarlet Fever, one case of Strep A, and one case of Strep A in the Year 1 year group.
Families said that while staff members are evaluating and placing more emphasis on cleanliness in the school, they had been told that students should continue to attend class as usual.
A fact sheet describing the symptoms to watch out for at home was also handed to the parents.
According to a representative for the UK Health Security Agency, “We released some generic information about the signs and symptoms of scarlet fever, which is not unusual, to schools in the area of Ashford Primary as part of our public health reaction to last week’s awful news.”
Parents, school workers, and nursery staff are asked to be aware of the symptoms, to stay up to date on vaccines, and to seek advice from NHS 111 if they have concerns. “A number of different diseases frequently circulate at this time of year,” the statement reads.
The bacterium, which is often referred to as “Strep throat,” typically results in a sore throat or skin rash and is spread by personal contact or droplets from coughing or sneezing.
Rarely, the infection may spread to other areas of the body where germs are not often present.
We are very sorry to learn of the passing of a student at Ashford Church of England School, and our sympathies are with their family, friends, and the school community, said Dr. Claire Winslade, health protection specialist at UKHSA South East.
“As a precaution, we have advised staff and students in the same year groups as the afflicted people to take antibiotics.”
“We have given the school guidance to assist avoid such incidents, and we’ll keep an eye on the issue.”
Parents have been informed about the symptoms of iGAS, which include inexplicable vomiting or diarrhea, a high temperature, severe muscular pains, and discomfort in one part of the body. Anyone exhibiting these signs should call NHS 111 right away.
Illness caused by Group A The streptococcus bacteria is spread by direct contact, coughing or sneezing droplets, and often results in a sore throat or skin rash. In very uncommon circumstances, the infection may spread and infiltrate regions of the body where germs aren’t often present, which may be dangerous.