In this section
Group A streptococcus (GAS) (also known as Streptococcus pyogenes) commonly colonises the skin, nasopharynx or anogenital tract of children.
GAS causes a wide range of clinical disease in children, from mild illnesses such as pharyngitis and impetigo, to severe, life-threatening invasive infections.
iGAS is defined by the isolation of GAS from a normally sterile site. Manifestations include:
Cellulitis and pharyngitis are not considered to be invasive disease.
Household contacts - those who have spent more than 24 hours in the same house as an index case in the 7 days prior to symptom onset.
They are at increased risk of iGAS compared with the general population.
Secondary cases usually occur within a month of the index case, and predominantly in the first 7 days.
Some experts and guidelines recommend antibiotic chemoprophylaxis to reduce the risk of iGAS in household contacts, although this has not been studied.
Regardless of whether chemoprophylaxis is prescribed, all household contacts should be educated about their increased risk of iGAS, and the early signs and symptoms of iGAS that require prompt medical evaluation. These include: