The nationwide outbreak of Strep A infections in children may be getting out of control. A hospital in Missouri reported seven new patients with previously unseen symptoms.
This is a chilling development indicative of the threat that super viruses are posing to both adults and kids this winter season.
Children’s Mercy Kansas City Hospital, which is one of the largest pediatric facilities in Missouri, has seen seven child patients with weird new symptoms of Step A, as the virus keeps spreading throughout the nation.
The bizarre symptoms of the young patients in the Missouri hospital included trouble swallowing, drooling, lumps behind the ear, and a “stuck” eye, The Daily Mail reported.
Even though the symptoms at first puzzled the doctors, tests showed all seven children had Strep A infections.
Even though Strep A is typically a mild infection, it has already caused multiple hospitalizations of children in America, Britain, and Europe.
The doctors from the Children’s Mercy Kansas City Hospital pointed out their patients’ symptoms were not typical of Strep A.
At least some experts have suggested the bizarre symptoms may be due to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic lockdowns, which hurt children’s immunity to otherwise common infections. As a result, Step A cases and other infections have become stronger.
The serious Strep A outbreak in the US has claimed two children’s lives so far, both of those in Colorado. However, six states have already seen a spike in Strep A hospital admissions during the past week.
At the same time, however, in the UK, Strep A infections have claimed the lives of 19 children.
The seven kids with oddball symptoms arrived at Children’s Mercy Kansas City Hospital in Missouri in quick succession this past month.
But when the lab tests came back, they all pointed to the same culprit.
It was a potentially lethal form of strep A.https://t.co/qiu4tr5eZs
— MayasMommy2 #NotMeUs (@SheriD17536431) December 21, 2022
Strep A outbreak worsens https://t.co/jUJpa5n3NF
— Daily Mail Online (@MailOnline) December 21, 2022
“Children's Mercy Kansas City Hospital has had 7 children in recent weeks come in with symptoms like a 'stuck' eye, lumps behind the ear & trouble swallowing—which led to drooling…Further testing found each child was suffering from Strep A.” https://t.co/6l0H3tyRRh
— Laura Miers (@LauraMiers) December 22, 2022
Bacterial Infection Striking After Viral Infection
In comments earlier this week, the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) seemed to admit the coronavirus pandemic measures – such as lockdowns, school closures, and mask mandates – lower children’s immunity and boost Strep A’s severity this year.
That is because the pandemic measures could have caused flu and RSV cases to expand, which, in turn, could bring about more severe cases of bacterial infections, including Strep A.
Strep A-type infections tend to attack the human organism after it has suffered a viral infection.
The Children’s Mercy Hospital’s head of infectious disease, Dr. Angela Myers, told Washington Post that doctors had never seen so many Strep A cases in such a short time.
The well-known typical symptoms of Strep A range from fever, rashes, flushed cheeks, sore throat, skin sores, and muscle aches. Until now, drooling and eye problems had never been associated with Strep A infection.
Reports suggest hospitals nationwide are registering greater numbers of Strep A patients compared with last year. Besides Missouri, case increases have been reported in Texas, Arizona, Washington, Colorado, and West Virginia.
The Houston-based Texas Children’s Hospital has already seen 60 Strep A cases this year, which is four times more compared with 2021.
The two Strep A deaths were reported in the Denver-based Children’s Hospital Colorado, last week. This year, Colorado has already suffered 32 Strep A hospitalizations.
In 2019, the state saw only 19 hospitalizations, while a decade ago, their number was five times smaller.
According to the CDC, 14,000 to 25,000 Americans become infected with Strep A annually, with about 1,500 to 2,300 losing their lives.
Against that backdrop, a CDC official said it remains uncertain whether the US was having more Strep A cases than in previous years.
BREAKING: #BNNUK Reports.
The UK Health Security Agency @UKHSA reported 94 deaths from scarlet fever and invasive strep A infections in England so far this season, including 21 children. #UK #ScarletFever #Health pic.twitter.com/JJpz3ZsdRH
— Gurbaksh Singh Chahal (@gchahal) December 22, 2022
This article appeared in The State Today and has been published here with permission.
Strep A: Five more children confirmed to have died in England from the bacterial infection https://t.co/bEi7Ov06Ql
— Sky News (@SkyNews) December 22, 2022