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Multiple cases of bacterial infection that killed girl, 6, found at nearby school

Two children at Echelford School have been diagnosed with the infection Strep A  (Google Maps)
Two children at Echelford School have been diagnosed with the infection Strep A (Google Maps)

Multiple cases of a bacterial infection that killed a six-year-old child have been found at a neighbouring school.

Two children at Echelford Primary School in Surrey are reported to have Strep A infections, while one other is believed to have developed scarlet fever.

The news comes a week after the unnamed girl from Ashford Church of England Primary School died from a Strep A infection that developed into invasive disease.

Echelford confirmed a “very small number” of pupils had been diagnosed with either scarlet fever or Strep A and that the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) had given advice on how to prevent further spread.

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The BBC reported that a letter had been sent to parents at Echelford explaining that drinking fountains had been switched off and children were being monitored.

Group A streptococcus – or Strep A – is known to cause both scarlet fever and throat infections.

In very rare cases it can cause invasive disease, which can occur when bacteria get into parts of the body where bacteria are not usually found, such as the blood, muscles or lungs. This can happen if the bacteria get past a person’s defences, such as through an open wound or when a person’s immune system is depleted.

Early signs and symptoms of the invasive disease include a high fever, severe muscle aches, pain in one area of the body, redness at the site of a wound and vomiting or diarrhoea.

A pupil from Ashford Church of England School died from invasive Strep A disease last week (Google Maps)
A pupil from Ashford Church of England School died from invasive Strep A disease last week (Google Maps)

Most people who come into contact with the bacteria remain well and symptom-free.

A second child from Ashford Church of England School was hospitalised with the same illness. Officials said they were showing signs of recovery last week but there has been no further update on their condition.

Echelford Primary School told The Independent: “We are aware of a very small number of Echelford Primary pupils who have been diagnosed with either scarlet fever or Strep A.

“We have received advice and support from the UKHSA to help prevent further cases and are enacting specific precautions within school in an effort to stop the spread of this bacterial infection.”

Its statement added: “We continue to communicate with our parent and carer community with advice and guidance.”

The UKHSA has been approached for comment.