Streptococcus pyogenes (Strep A) is a common bacterium, which many people carry in their throat or on their skin without getting ill. Pharyngitis, scarlet fever, and impetigo contagiosa are common infections caused by Strep A, but it can also cause serious infections with grave consequences.
During the last couple of years an epidemic of serious Strep A infections has been seen in Finland according to M.D. Emmi Sarvikivi, a specialist at Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare, in an interview by the Finnish television company MTV. In serious Strep A infections, the disease rapidly leads to a poor condition of the patient. According to Dr. Sarvikivi, these serious cases have nearly doubled during last two years from an average of 200 yearly cases close to 400.
Dr. Sarvikivi points out that Strep A infections should be treated. Therefore, in case of sore throat, fever with pain, and weakness, it is advisable to consult a physician in order to get tested and to be treated with antibiotics when justified.
An increase of serious Strep A infections has also been seen in other countries. Recently BBC Look East reported on an ongoing local outbreak and that the overall number of cases across England and Wales almost tripled from 2013 reaching more than 600 cases in 2018. In Sweden the highest number of serious Strep A infections since reporting became obligatory in 2004, was seen during period July 2017 - June 2018 and in Norway an increase in serious Strep A infections was reported from 2016 to 2017.
https://www.mtvuutiset.fi/artikkeli/lihansyojabakteeriepidemialle-ei-nay-loppua-tama-on-tarkein-yksittainen-keino-tappavan-taudin-torjunnassa-a-streptokokki-voi-johtaa-kuolemaan-muutamassa-tunnissa-jos-se-paasee-verenkiertoon/7511550#gs.zgpwtf Published 13.08.2019 16:33
By Julian Sturdy BBC Look East. Essex Strep A outbreak: Twelve people dead https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-essex-48748881 Published 25.6.2019
Public Health Agency of Sweden, Public Health reporting. Betahemolytiska grupp A-streptokocker (GAS) - invasiv
Published 4.9.2018 by Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Område for smittevern, miljø og helse 2018 Årsrapport for 2017 - Invasive infeksjoner.