To the bacteria Streptococcus pyogenes -also called Group A Streptococcus can cause mild infections to very serious illnesses serious and deadly. Can produce pharyngitiswhich, when accompanied by a skin rash, becomes “scarlet fever”. Or it can lead to pneumonialocalized infections in muscle, bone or joints (known as fasciitis, osteomyelitis and arthritis) and infections spread in the blood.
This year, the Argentina went through a outbreak of cases of people with invasive infection by the bacteria Streptococcus pyogeneswhich affected boys and girls more.
He last year they had only registered 75 cases in the country. Regarding this year’s data, in the last month the epidemiological bulletins disseminated weekly by the Ministry of Health of the Nation did not update the new infections due to the bacteria. However, the Ministry of Public Health of Salta, the province where the last two fatalities were recorded, indicated that the entire country was notified. 382 cases al National Health Surveillance Systemwhich depends on Ministry of Health of the Nation. This represents an increase of more than 409%.
Of the total 382 confirmed cases, 64 patients died in the country during 2023. The data was reported by the Ministry of Public Health of the province of Salta. In that jurisdiction of the North of the Argentina There have been 7 cases of people with invasive infection by the bacteria. 80% were patients under 9 years old, and the majority were girls. 2 of the 64 total deaths occurred there.
In the province of The Pampa, 10 cases have been reported. Of which 4 were over 65 years of age. Another 4 cases were under 10 years old. Two patients died. One of them was over 65 and had chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
“This year it can be said that there is an outbreak of cases of invasive infection by Streptococcus Pyogenes in the country. Although it is likely that in the previous years there has been a underreporting of cases“, he explained to Infobae Javier Farinainfectious disease doctor and member of the Infections associated with health care commission Argentine Society of Infectology (SADI).
The advance of the bacteria Streptococcus pyogenes It has not only occurred in Argentina. On December 8th, World Health Organization (WHO) reported that at least five Member States in the European region (France, Ireland, the Netherlands, Sweden and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland) had reported an increase in the number of disease cases.
At the time, the health agency suggested that the increase in cases could reflect an early start to the season coinciding with an increase in the circulation of respiratory viruses and the risk of viral co-infections. It was considered that coinfections could increase the risk of developing invasive strep disease.
Days later, on December 19, 2022, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) warned that there was an increase in cases in Uruguay.
As There is still no vaccine available against the bacteria.last March, the WHO explained that the Streptococcus pyogenes was identified as one of the important pathogens for which more attention should be invested in the development of immunization.
Last July, the national health portfolio in Argentina also warned that there was an outbreak and that it was mainly affecting the provinces of Buenos Aires, Santa Fe, Chubut and Tierra del Fuego.
Then, as reported Infobaescientists from the Institute ANLIS/Malbrán They found 3 isolates from patient samples with the hypervirulent M1UK clone of the bacteria. It is a clone that has had rapid expansion into other countries and has been linked to increased cases of scarlet fever and invasive infections. This clone corresponds to a new lineage of the pandemic strain M1T1 (M1global).
The ANLIS/Malbrán researchers also identified a group of 7 isolates from the Streptococcus pyogenes M1 genetically closely related. This group acquired “a mobile genetic element that codes for the superantigenic toxin SpeC,” the group of experts clarified in the Ministry’s latest epidemiology bulletin.
He Streptococcus Pyogenes It is “a common bacteria that causes pharyngitis. But it can also cause invasive infections in the skin and other organs. It tends to affect children, older people and people with low defenses more,” said Farina.
Common antibiotics such as penicillin or amoxilicin are indicated as treatment. Within 24 hours of taking the antibiotic, the ability to spread the pathogen to another person is usually eliminated.
“It is important that the symptoms are detected, that a doctor be consulted and that an early diagnosis be accessed, to reduce the chances of complications of the condition,” said the expert consulted by Infobae.
When children present with invasive disease, they usually show signs of weakness, in some cases with persistent fever and worsening of the initial infection (for example, pneumonia that worsens with difficulty breathing), according to the doctor. Paula Della Lattapediatric infectious disease German Hospital from Buenos Aires.
The transmission of the bacteria Streptococcus Pyogenes It occurs through close contact with an infected person and can be transmitted through coughing, sneezing, or contact with a wound.
The incubation period for the disease varies according to the clinical presentation, between 1 to 3 days. People with the infection must remain isolated until the end of the infectious period.
In the presence of some of these symptoms it is important avoid self-medication with antibiotics and carry out a medical consultation to have a timely diagnosis, according to the National Health portfolio.
As preventive measures for the patient and close contacts, according to the SADIgood personal hygiene and frequent hand hygiene are recommended, covering wounds with sterile waterproof dressings, and maintaining good environmental hygiene, including cleaning toys, bathrooms, and carpets.
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