Two schoolchildren die from Step A infections in Coventry over Christmas

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Two children in Coventry died of Strep A infections over the Christmas holidays, it's been confirmed.

One child was primary school aged and the other at secondary school in the city.

A letter to parents and guardians at the schools explained that neither children were in close contact with other school children when they were infectious.

It said: "We have been liaising with public health professionals from the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) and local authority, and they have advised us that no members of the school community were in close contact with the pupil when they were infectious,"

Therefore there are no actions for you to take in relation to children/staff who are part of the school community."

Special support is being offered to pupils who knew the children.Coventry city councillors and senior council staff were informed of the deaths in a briefing note by the council's Director of Public Health last week.Both schools will undergo 430 days of surveillance and have been asked to report any cases of certain illnesses, including Strep A infections, it added.

Coventry City Council says it was made aware of the deaths over the Christmas period and no further deaths have been reported.

The public health team has sent out information to schools on the disease and further information to those affected by the deaths.

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What can adults and children do to curb the spread of Strep A, Covid and flu?

  • If your child is unwell and has a fever, they should stay home from school or nursery until they feel better and the fever has resolved.

  • Children should be helped to learn about the importance of good hand hygiene.

  • Families should practice regular handwashing at home with soap and warm water.

  • Families should catch coughs and sneezes in tissues then bin them.

  • Adults should try to stay home when unwell, but if you do have to go out, wear a face covering.

  • When unwell, don’t visit healthcare settings unless urgent, or visit vulnerable people.

  • Young children should get a flu vaccination, described by the UKHSA as "the best protection against the virus".

What are the symptoms of invasive Strep A?

  • Fever (above 38°C)

  • Severe muscle aches

  • Localised muscle tenderness

  • Redness at the site of a wound

If your child is showing any symptoms of invasive Strep A, you should contact your GP immediately.

Additionally if your child has a fever, nausea or vomiting, or a fine sandpaper-like pink-red rash, this could be a symptom of scarlet fever - another complication of Strep A infection - and you should also contact your GP.