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Pediatric invasive group A streptococcus infections on the rise
From October to December 2022, a resurgence of pediatric invasive Group A Streptococcus (iGAS) infections occurred, with most cases occurring among those without underlying medical conditions, according to research published in the March 10 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
Meghan Barnes, M.S.P.H., from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment in Denver, and colleagues conducted an analysis of iGAS cases among Colorado and Minnesota Emerging Infections Program surveillance site residents aged younger than 18 years. Case counts, age distribution, and clinical characteristics were compared for Jan. 1, 2016, to Dec. 31, 2019 (baseline period); Jan. 1, 2020, to Dec. 31, 2021 (pandemic period); and Oct. 1 to Dec. 31, 2022 (recent increase).
The researchers found that 34 cases were reported in Colorado and Minnesota sites during Oct. 1 to Dec. 31, 2022. A three-month average of 11 and four cases were reported during the same periods in 2016 to 2019 and 2020 to 2021, respectively. Patients from Colorado identified during the recent increase were younger than those during the baseline and pandemic periods, but this was not the case for Minnesota patients.
During the recent increase, two deaths were noted (one in Colorado and one in Minnesota); five deaths occurred during 2016 to 2021. During the recent increase, the frequency of intensive care unit admission and length of hospital stay were similar. During the recent increase, most cases (73.5 percent) were in children and adolescents without underlying medical conditions.
"The increase in pediatric iGAS cases reported during fall 2022 is important for understanding the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the epidemiology of iGAS," the authors write.
Two authors disclosed financial ties to Biofire Diagnostics, Karius, and/or Pfizer.
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