The death of a child in Glanmire, which has reportedly been linked to the Strep A bacterial infection, has left the entire community “in shock”.
Fine Gael councillor and former lord mayor Joe Kavanagh — who has a close association with the school the child attended — said that he is “absolutely shocked and taken aback” by the news of the child’s passing.
He offered his condolences to the child’s parents, teachers, and the whole school community.
He continued: “It is an absolutely shocking tragedy to visit any family.
“This time of the year is a horrible time but there’s no good time of the year for a tragedy like this to strike anybody and particularly a child so young with their whole life ahead of them.”
“This has affected so many people including the kids in the school, the teachers, parents and the whole community of Glanmire has been rocked by this sad tragedy which was totally out of the blue and unexpected,” Mr Kavanagh continued.
“My heart goes out to the family, the school, and all the students and teachers.”
He said the shock of the situation has hit the children in a completely different way because it is hard for them to understand.
“Children of that age, their perception of what has happened is completely different to an adult’s perception as to what has happened.
“Both are shocked but in totally different ways.”
The Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) has said there has been an increase in notified invasive Group A Streptococcal disease (iGAS) infections in recent weeks. iGAS is a rare case of Strep A (Group A streptococcus) where the bacteria causes a severe and life-threatening illness.
To date in 2022, HPSC has been notified of 73 iGAS cases in Ireland, 19 were in children aged under 10 years old compared to 22 cases in children aged under 10 for the same period in 2019. Some 39 of the 73 iGAS cases notified this year have been reported since the beginning of October.
Nine of those were aged under 10-years-old.
Since October 2022, there have been four deaths in children: three deaths in children aged under 10 years old and one death in a child aged 10 to 18.
Strep A is spread by close contact and can be passed on through coughs and sneezes or from a wound.
Strep A can cause infections in one’s skin, soft tissue (muscles, tendons and ligaments), and respiratory system (nose, throat and lungs).
Possible infections include tonsillitis, pharyngitis, scarlet fever, impetigo, and cellulitis and infections cause symptoms such as a sore throat, a high temperature of 38 degrees Celsius or higher, chills, and muscle aches.