Primary school pupil, 6, dies after bacteria outbreak in Surrey school

A primary school pupil has died and a second is being treated in hospital after an outbreak of bacteria in a primary school in Surrey.

It is believed that the two students were in the same year group at Ashford Church of England Primary School.

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The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) said the couple had a rare group A streptococcal infection (iGAS). The government agency said it had recommended that staff and students be prescribed antibiotics.

The child who died was believed to be six years old and in the first year.

Dr Claire Winslade, UKHSA South East Health Protection Adviser, said: “We are very saddened to hear of the death of a pupil at Ashford Church of England School, and are thinking of their family, friends and the school community.

“As a precaution we have recommended antibiotics for pupils and staff in the same year cohorts as infected individuals. We have advised the school to help prevent further cases and will continue to monitor the situation.

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“Information has been shared with parents about the signs and symptoms of iGAS, which include a high temperature with severe muscle aches, pain in one area of ​​the body and unexplained vomiting or diarrhoea. Anyone experiencing these symptoms should contact NHS11 immediately.”

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Infection with group A Streptococcus bacteria usually causes a sore throat or rash and is transmitted through physical contact or through droplets from a sneeze or cough.

Very rarely, the infection can become invasive and enter parts of the body where the bacteria are not normally found and can cause serious and life-threatening diseases such as necrotizing fasciitis and streptococcal toxic shock syndrome.

A UKHSA spokesperson said: “Specialists are arranging for pupils and staff to be given antibiotics at a Surrey school as a precaution, following two cases of invasive group A streptococcal infection (iGAS).

“Unfortunately, one pupil from Ashford Church of England Primary School has died and another is in hospital, but is showing positive signs of recovery.”

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