Eight deaths reported in Uruguay of streptococcus — MercoPress

Eight deaths reported in Uruguay of streptococcus

Thursday, December 22nd 2022 – 20:03 UTC

The streptococcus pyogenes bacterium causes infections leading to symptoms from mild to severe

Uruguayan health officials Thursday reported eight people have died of a strong form of streptococcus after cases were detected between Nov. 3 and Dec. 12 in the South American country.

 According to official sources, 21 patients had been hospitalized due to this particularly invasive form of contagion by Dec. 19 nationwide. Of the 21 cases, 7 were adults over 15 years of age and the rest were children between 1 and 7 years old. Among the eight fatalities, there were four children and four adults aged 69 to 79.

In this scenario, health authorities have upped the monitoring of possible outbreaks and requested the population to take the necessary measures in case of suspicion of infection, while the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) has been briefed on the latest developments.

The Uruguayan authorities said that “infection committees were requested to immediately notify any invasive form of the bacterium, as well as to send the isolated strain to the National Public Health Laboratory for study.”

In addition to that, a communications strategy has been devised as per guidelines stemming from World Health Organization (WHO) steps taken “in several European countries” where the pathogen has been detected lately.

The streptococcus pyogenes bacterium causes infections leading to mild symptoms such as pharyngitis or scarlet fever to severe clinical manifestations. It is transmitted when it comes into contact with droplets emitted by an infected person when coughing or sneezing. The symptoms of pharyngitis include a sore throat, fever, headache, abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting, redness of the pharynx and tonsils, bad breath, and enlarged lymph nodes in the neck.

The most frequent symptoms of scarlet fever are a red and sore throat, fever (38.3 °C or higher), red rash with sandpaper texture, bright red skin in the folds of the armpit, elbow, and groin, whitish coating on the tongue or the back of the throat, “raspberry” tongue, headache, nausea or vomiting, swollen glands, and body aches.

In the presence of any of these symptoms, patients are advised to consult a certified physician and avoid self-medication with antibiotics.

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