Group A Streptococcus (GAS), also known as “Strep A”, are bacteria commonly found on the skin or in the throat. Under some circumstances these bacteria can cause disease. People can catch it through close contact and from coughs and sneezes.

Please look at the videos and links below for further advice and information.

What are the symptoms?

Most often, symptoms are mild – a sore throat or a skin infection that can be easily treated with antibiotics.

But strep A can cause a range of things – and some of them are more serious.

One is scarlet fever, which mostly affects young children and, again, needs antibiotics.

Immediate action required: Call 999 or go to A&E if:

  • your child is having difficulty breathing (you may notice grunting noises or their tummy sucking under their ribs)
  • there are pauses when your child breathes
  • your child’s skin, tongue or lips are blue
  • your child is floppy and will not wake up or stay awake

    Urgent advice:Contact your GP if:

    • your child is getting worse
    • your child is feeding or eating much less than normal
    • your child has had a dry nappy for 12 hours or more or shows other signs of dehydration
    • your baby is under 3 months and has a temperature of 38°C
    • your baby is older than 3 months and has a temperature of 39°C or higher
    • your baby feels hotter than usual when you touch their back or chest, or feels sweaty
    • your child is very tired or irritable

    If your GP is closed, contact the 111 service.

    If you feel that your child is seriously unwell, trust your own judgement and seek medical assistance.

    Links to Further Information and video advice

    UKHSA update on scarlet fever and invasive Group A strep – GOV.UK (

    Looking after a sick child – NHS (

    Scarlet Fever: A Doctor’s Advice | Patient Info

    When should I worry – advice leaflet