Most of those affected were “elderly and had been receiving care for chronic wounds, in the community, either in their own homes and some in care homes”, according to the NHS Mid Essex Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).The outbreak of invasive Group A streptococcus (iGAS) started in Braintree and spread to the Chelmsford and Maldon areas, it added.
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Ear infections occur when a virus, bacteria or fungi target the inner, outer or middle areas of the ear, causing inflammation and fluid buildup.1 These infections, which may either be acute or chronic,2 can be triggered by health disorders3 and even activities such as swimming, bathing or showering frequently,4 or by using headphones or rubbing cotton swabs in the ear.5 Common risk factors for ear infections among children and adults include:6
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There have been 32 reported cases of the disease.
An incident management team has been established to “control the incident and closely monitor the situation”.
The bacteria can be found in the throat and on the skin and people may carry it without displaying any symptoms.
It can live in throats and on hands for long enough to allow easy spread between people through sneezing, kissing and skin contact.
The CCG said in a report that the “sometimes life-threatening GAS disease may occur when bacteria get into parts of the body where bacteria usually are not found, such as the blood, muscle, or the lungs”.
Rachel Hearn, director of nursing and quality, Mid Essex CCG, said: “Our thoughts are with the families of those patients who have died. The NHS in Essex is working closely with Public Health England and other partners to manage this local incident, and extra infection control measures have been put in place to prevent the infection spreading in the area.
Hyaluronic acid is found throughout the body, but it especially concentrated on the skin. Because of its high water-binding capacity, it acts as a hydrating agent and space filler. It supports collagen and elastin, by keeping them nourished and moist, reduces the appearance of wrinkles while keeping the skin soft, smooth and supple. You can find Hyaluronic acid in some natural skin care products.
“The risk of contracting iGAS is very low for the vast majority of people and treatment with antibiotics is very effective if started early. We will continue to work with our partners in Public Health England to investigate how this outbreak occurred and take every possible step to ensure our local community is protected.”