Latest data from the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) continues to show scarlet fever and group A strep (GAS) infections remain high.
So far this season (from 19 September to 1 January) there have been 35,616 notifications of scarlet fever. This compares to a total of 4,192 at the same point in the year during the last comparably high season in 2017 to 2018 – although cases in that season started to rise at a different point. In 2017 to 2018 there were 30,768 scarlet fever notifications overall across the year.
Invasive group A strep (iGAS) infections remain rare but are currently higher than we see in a typical year. So far this season, there have been 159 iGAS cases in children aged 1 to 4 compared to 194 cases in that age group across the whole year of the last comparably high season in 2017 to 2018. There have been 118 cases in children aged 5 to 9 years compared to 117 across the whole year of the last comparably high season in 2017 to 2018. The majority of iGAS cases continue to be in those over 45 years.
Sadly, so far this season there have been 151 deaths across all age groups in England. This figure includes 29 children under 18 in England. In the 2017 to 2018 season, there were 355 deaths in total across the season, including 27 deaths in children under 18.