Woman arrested on suspicion of neglect over child death linked to Strep A

A woman has been arrested on suspicion of child neglect after the death of an eight-year-old which could be linked to the Strep A infection in Wales.

According to Wales Online, the 33-year-old woman was arrested on Friday 23 December and has since been released while police inquiries continue.

The child, from the town of Lampeter, Ceredigion, died on the evening of Thursday 22 December.

Public Health Wales is looking into possible links to invasive strep A, although the child's death is currently described as "unexplained".

Dr Graham Brown, consultant in communicable disease control for Public Health Wales, said: "Public Health Wales is working with Hywel Dda University Health Board and Ceredigion Council following the death of a child in Lampeter.

"We offer our deepest condolences to the family, friends and all those affected.

"Public Health Wales cannot comment on individual cases.

"We are investigating links to invasive group A streptococcal disease (iGAS), a very rare complication of group A streptococcal infection.

Read more:
Strep A: Symptoms and the difference between GAS and iGAS

"While we understand that parents are likely to be worried, cases of iGAS remain rare in Wales and children have a very low risk of contracting the disease."

If it is confirmed that the child died of iGAS, her death would follow that of seven-year-old Hanna Roap, from Penarth, South Wales, and another child from Powys who has not been named.

The families of these two children have confirmed they died from iGAS.

Two children aged under 10 in Scotland have died with Strep A since 3 October, Public Health Scotland has said.

The organisation said it is aware of seven deaths among invasive group A streptococcal (iGAS) cases between 3 October and 25 December.

Twenty-one children in England have died from invasive strep A disease.

Group A strep bacteria can cause many different infections, ranging from minor illnesses to deadly diseases.

Illnesses caused by strep A include the skin infection impetigo, scarlet fever and strep throat.

While most infections are mild, the bacteria can cause a life-threatening illness called invasive group A streptococcal (iGAS) disease.