Pupil, 6, dies of Strep A infection after outbreak at Surrey school

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Data show that the number of iGAS is higher this year than it was pre-pandemic for children aged between one and nine.

There have been almost 16,000 cases of scarlet fever in England in the last 12 months and 1,766 cases of iGAS.

For the past two winters, there have been very few seasonal viruses in circulation, with social isolation measures enforced as a result of the Covid pandemic ensuring that other infectious diseases do not spread.

“I don’t think there’s a lack of immunity. I don’t think children are more likely to get it [Strep A] than before, I just think we haven’t seen it,” said Dr. Liz Whittaker, a consultant in pediatric infectious diseases at Imperial College Healthcare, told The Telegraph.

A person’s risk from the virus is the same as pre-pandemic, she added, but their exposure is higher now because it is circulating freely for the first time in years.

Another expert also told The Telegraph: “Now that everything is getting back to normal, we will see these cases come back just like they did before the pandemic.

“There may be a few more cases now than there would have been before [Covid] because all these children did not get any infection during the pandemic, and therefore there are more children around who have not had it.

“If this had been spread over three years, it might not be as high at all, but because they all get it together, it looks like there are a lot more infections.”

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