The North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit is investigating an outbreak of invasive Group A Streptococcal disease, also known as iGAS. iGas is an infection caused by the same bacteria responsible for strep throat, and in rare cases it can cause a deep, serious infection that requires hospital care. Right now there are only three cases being reported in the North Bay/Parry Sound area and the Health Unit says the risk is low, but higher for those who have been around someone who has it. Click Read More below for symptoms and preventative measures.
Symptoms vary depending upon the part of the body affected and the depth of infection:
Symptoms of non-invasive infections:
o Throat: can include fever, sore throat, tender neck glands and swollen tonsils and ear infections
o Skin: can include blisters that can break and leak yellow-colored fluid
Symptoms of invasive infections:
o Necrotizing fasciitis, often described as "the flesh-eating bacteria", rapidly progresses and destroys muscle, fat and skin tissue. Symptoms include fever, severe pain, and swelling and redness at the wound site.
o Streptococcal toxic shock syndrome (STSS) results in a rapid drop in blood pressure and causes organs such as kidneys, liver or lungs to fail. Symptoms include fever, sudden severe pain, dizziness, confusion, and a flat red rash over large areas on the body.
Take the following steps to reduce the risk of infections, including iGAS:
Wash hands often with soap and warm water
If you have a sore throat, see a physician to be tested for strep throat
Keep wounds clean and watch for possible signs of infection like increased redness, swelling and pain at the site
For more information, call the Health Unit at 705-474-1400 or 1-800-563-2808, or visit www.healthunit.biz.