Two children die after group A strep infections in Montreal

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Two children die after group A strep infections in Montreal

Group A streptococci are bacteria that commonly cause mild illnesses such as throat infections or sinusitis, but complications are possible.

Two children have died in Montreal following invasive group A streptococcal infections, confirmed Montreal public health, as the metropolis grapples with an increase in cases.

As of December 15, public health has listed four cases, in addition to the two children two years of age or younger who have died. Between 2017 and 2021, there has never been more than one case per year in Montreal.

According to the investigations that have been carried out, no epidemiological link has been found between the cases reported in Montreal. Public Health therefore calls on healthcare professionals to remain alert to symptoms consistent with strep, especially in children.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has France, Ireland, the Netherlands, Sweden and the UK have all seen an increase in the number of invasive group A strep infections in recent weeks.

According to the WHO, this rise in infections among children in Europe is probably linked to the very intense circulation of respiratory viruses, such as seasonal flu and respiratory syncytial virus. These viruses can increase the risk of infection with invasive group A streptococcus, the organization said.

According to the Government of Canada, group A streptococci are bacteria that commonly cause mild illnesses such as throat infections or sinusitis.

More rarely, certain so-called invasive infections can cause more serious illness, such as pneumonia, infection flesh-eating bacteria or toxic shock syndrome. Some of these situations can lead to death.

Last summer, four people died following an outbreak of invasive infections in residents of a West Island private seniors' residence.

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