The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is investigating an increase in invasive group A streptococcal (iGAS) infections among children, the agency announced last month.
In a CDC health advisory shared on December 22, the agency noted an increase in pediatric iGAS infections at a hospital in Colorado, where there had been at least 11 reported iGAS cases since November 1. Other states, including Minnesota and Pennsylvania, have also reported potential increases in iGAS cases.
The United Kingdom, too, reported an uptick in iGAS infections among children; so far during the 2022–2023 season, there have been 652 notifications of iGAS disease reported in England.
The increase in pediatric iGAS infections comes at a time when other respiratory illnesses—including respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), flu, and COVID-19—are circulating at higher levels.
Though the CDC said the overall number of pediatric iGAS cases remains low—and that infections are still rare in children—the advisory still urged the importance of early recognition, diagnosis, and treatment in both children and adults.
Bacteria called Streptococcus pyogenes—also known as group A Streptococcus or group A strep—can cause a wide range of conditions, including invasive and noninvasive disease.