12 people are reported dead from a rare bacterial infection that is spread through close personal contact. Authorities are concerned because the outbreak shows no signs of relenting and preys on victims who aware most vulnerable like the young and the elderly..
Authorities in Essex, England report, “There have been 32…cases of the disease, called invasive group A streptococcus (iGAS).
“The NHS Mid Essex clinical commissioning group said the outbreak started in Braintree and had spread to the Chelmsford and Maldon areas, but did not give a timeline for this.”
The bacteria can be found in the throat and on the skin and people may carry them without displaying any symptoms.
“They can live in throats and on hands for long enough to allow easy spread between people through sneezing, kissing and skin contact.”
NHS officials say the disease becomes ‘invasive’ when it enters areas in the body where bacteria usually aren’t found, like the bloodstream, lungs, or muscle tissue.
The risk of contracting the infection is rather low for most of the general public and most people who contract iGAS can be treated with antibiotics if the infection is discovered early.
However, it’s a different story for those who are in poor health or battling other medical conditions.
“Most of the patients affected are elderly and had been receiving care for chronic wounds, in the community, either in their own homes and some in care homes.”
Rachel Hearn, director of nursing and quality, Mid Essex Clinical Commissioning Group, said, "Our thoughts are with the families of those patients who have died.
"We will continue to work with our partners in Public Health England to investigate how this outbreak occurred and take every possible step to ensure our local community is protected."
Please join us in praying for the families of those who have died and for the others who are still suffering.