Group A streptococcus (GAS) is a bacteria that can cause common illnesses, including tonsillitis, impetigo and scarlet fever. These infections are usually mild and clear up after a course of antibiotics, but in some cases can lead to a more serious infection known as Invasive Group A streptococcus (iGAS).
iGAS infections are caused when the bacteria gets into parts of the body where it is not normally found, such as the lungs or bloodstream. In rare cases an iGAS infection can be fatal.
Whilst iGAS infections are still uncommon, there has been an increase in cases this year, particularly in children under 10, including a small number of deaths.
These materials are intended to inform parents and carers about the symptoms of iGAS in babies and children, what to look out for and what action to take if they are concerned.