Streptococci on the rise: Agency for Care and Health advises to remain vigilant

Streptococci on the rise: Agency for Care and Health advises to remain vigilant

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The number of streptococcal infections has increased in recent months. Although most infections are not that bad and heal spontaneously, the Flemish Agency for Care and Health (AZG) calls on Wednesday to remain alert for signs that may indicate an invasive streptococcal infection. Such an infection can lead to serious illnesses, such as severe pneumonia or blood poisoning. Prompt treatment is therefore crucial.

gjsBron: BELGIAN

Anyone experiencing respiratory complaints with a fever is therefore advised by the agency to consult a doctor if they are concerned or if the symptoms worsen after three days.

Only the most serious cases of invasive streptococcal infections are reported, but this already shows an increase compared to previous years. “Fortunately, even now they are not very common, but we still want to urge people to be vigilant and to consult a doctor in time if the medical condition deteriorates,” says MSF spokesperson Joris Moonens.

Two weeks ago it became known that the Antwerp University Hospital admitted 25 patients in December after an infection with streptococci. “Normally we see those heavy streptococcal infections a few times a year, now there are 25 in a month,” Philippe Jorens of UZA said to the public broadcaster. In the university hospitals of Leuven and Ghent, more streptococcal infections are also said to be seen in children, although the increase there is less pronounced.

READ ALSO. Remarkably many cases of streptococci in children and young adults in the province of Antwerp

The agency also advises people to use paracetamol as the first choice for an infection with a fever, and not ibuprofen for fever or pain. Parents should watch out for warning signs when a child becomes sicker, such as becoming drowsy, turning gray or short of breath. A flowchart can be found on the page about fever on the Growing Up website that helps parents to make the best assessment.

READ ALSO. Remarkably many young children got a serious infection from streptococci: “Normally we only see a few cases per year”


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