Dear parents / guardians of 2nd year CÉR Cork students,
We have been notified today by the HSE of a 2nd year CÉR Cork student who has invasive Group A Streptococcus infection (iGAS).
Strep A (Group A streptococcus) is a common bacteria (germ). It is sometimes found in the throat or on the skin without causing any symptoms. It usually causes mild illness like sore throats and skin infections. In rare cases, these bacteria can cause a severe and life threatening illness called invasive Group A Streptococcal disease (iGAS). Infections caused by iGAS can:
- cause severe muscle, fat and skin tissue infection
- lead to sepsis
- cause organ failure, for example in the kidneys, liver or lungs
- cause a fast drop in blood pressure
Thankfully, these iGAS infections are very rare. Nevertheless, the HSE has asked us to alert CÉR Cork 2nd year parents / guardians about the infection and to be aware of the signs and symptoms of iGAS. It’s not always easy to tell if your son / daughter has iGAS. Symptoms can appear like symptoms of other conditions. They can include some of the below:
- high temperature (38 degrees Celsius or higher)
- muscle pain or severe muscle aches
- severe pain in a wound
- redness at the site of a wound
- dizziness and confusion
- a flat red rash over large areas of the body
- diarrhoea or vomiting where there is no other obvious cause
Having these symptoms does not always mean your child has iGAS. But you should get urgent medical help if your child feels very unwell. Trust your instincts. iGAS is a serious infection that can lead to sepsis.
For more information, please see the attached HSE notification alert letter and iGAS factsheet.
Kevin Barry (Deputy Principal, CÉR Cork)