About Group A Streptococcal (GAS) Also known as Strep A

Strep A is responsible for infections such as sore throat (‘Strep throat’) tonsillitis, impetigo scarlet fever and cellulitis among others. It is a common bacterium sometimes found in the throat or on the skin without causing any symptoms. Carrying it in our throats and on our skin doesn’t always result in illness. It is mainly a childhood disease seen between 4-8 years of age.

Symptoms of scarlet fever are:

  • Sore throat
  • Skin infection including blisters or impetigo
  • A large itchy pink or red rash on the skin (will appear after flu-like symptoms)
  • Headache
  • High temperature
  • Flushed cheeks
  • A swollen tongue
  • Swollen neck glands
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea Vomiting
  • A white coating on the tongue which peels a few days later leaving the tongue red and swollen.
If you feel that your child seems seriously unwell, you should trust your own judgment and contact NHS 111 or your GP if:
  • Your child is getting worse.
  • Your child is feeding or eating less than normal.
  • Your child has a dry nappy for 12 hours or more or shows other signs of dehydration.
  • Your baby is under 3 months and has a temperature of 38C or is older than 3 months and has a temperature of 39C or higher.
  • Your baby feels hotter than usual when you touch their back or chest, or feels sweaty.
  • Your child is unusually tired or irritable.

In some cases, these bacteria can cause a severe life-threatening illness called Invasive Group A Strep (iGAS)

Searching for a vaccine
Invasive Group A Streptococcal disease (iGAS) is a global concern, with over half a million deaths attributed to it annually. Canada has recently reported a record high in iGAS cases, while the UK has also seen an increase in notifications; The UK Health Security Agency have recorded 510 notifications.
iGAS is a leading cause of sepsis, meningitis, pneumonia, and rheumatic fever, which can lead to heart disease. To address this urgent issue, we are funding a research program to develop a vaccine and eradicate iGAS.
Your donation will help us in our mission to find a solution to this deadly disease. Join us in the fight against iGAS by donating today.


iGAS infections are severe and sometimes life-threatening because the bacteria have invaded into parts of the body where they are not usually found, such as the blood, deep muscle and fat tissue, or the lungs. It can cause severe disease such as necrotizing fasciitis, streptococcal toxic shock syndrome, or meningitis and requires immediate treatment including antibiotics

Early signs and symptoms of Invasive Group A Streptococcal (iGAS) disease are:

  • High fever
  • Severe muscle aches
  • Localised muscle tenderness
  • Increased pain, swelling and redness at site of the wound
  • Unexplained diarrhoea and vomiting.

Always check for the symptoms of meningitis and sepsis displayed on our symptoms page.

Contacts of an iGAS case:

Most people who come into contact with Group A Strep remain well and symptom free, or develop mild throat or skin infections.

Contacts do not usually require any treatment, and it rare for contacts to develop symptoms. However, some household contacts may be offered antibiotics by the public health services if they have been in close contact with a case of invasive/severe Strep A (iGAS).

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