Twelve people have died during an outbreak of a rare bacterial infection in Essex, it has been confirmed.
According to the Mid Essex Clinical Commissioning Group, 32 people in the county have been infected with the invasive Group A streptococcus (iGAS) strain.
Out of those 32 cases, there has been 12 deaths, with cases being reported in Braintree, Chelmsford and Maldon.
Most of the people affected are "elderly people receiving treatment for wounds in care homes and in their own homes", the Mid Essex Clinical Commissioning Group said.
The CCG has not confirmed when the deaths happened, but they did reveal that an 'incident management team' has been set-up to offer support and advice.
Measures are also in place to stop it spreading.
Group A streptococcus is normally found in the throat and doesn't tend to cause any illness to healthy people.
“Our thoughts are with the families of those patients who have died,"
“The NHS in Essex is working closely with Public Health England and other partners to manage this local incident, and extra infection control measures have been put in place to prevent the infection spreading in the area.
“The risk of contracting iGAS is very low for the vast majority of people and treatment with antibiotics is very effective if started early. We will continue to work with our partners in Public Health England to investigate how this outbreak occurred and take every possible step to ensure our local community is protected.”