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Invasive Group A Streptococcal Disease

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Fact sheet - Health conditions directory

Group A Streptococcus (GAS) is a bacterium often found in the throat and on the skin. The most common infections caused by GAS are sore throat (“strep throat”) and skin infections such as impetigo and cellulitis. Other diseases may occur following GAS infections such as acute rheumatic fever (a disease affecting the heart and joints) and post-streptococcal glomerulonephritis (a disease affecting the kidneys).

Severe, sometimes life-threatening GAS disease may occur when the bacteria get into parts of the body where bacteria are not normally found, such as the blood, muscle or lungs. These infections are called invasive GAS (iGAS) disease. People at higher risk of iGAS infection are the very young, the very old and people with weak immune systems. Two of the most severe forms of iGAS infection are necrotising fasciitis (a severe infection where areas of soft tissue below the skin start to die) and streptococcal toxic shock syndrome (rapidly worsening symptoms with low blood pressure and failure of multiple organs within the body).

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Enhanced surveillance for public health units

  • Case report form (PDF, 147KB) - used by public health units to collect and manage more detailed information for enhanced case surveillance.

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    Last updated: 5 June 2023

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