The Group A strep (GAS) surveillance data show that while there is an out of season increase in cases of GAS being reported in Scotland; most infections are mild. 

Although increases in GAS have been reported in recent weeks in Scotland, the more serious Invasive GAS (IGAS) infections remain stable and similar to previous years.

The data published today show that PHS has received reports of six new IGAS cases between 5 and 11 December across all age groups in Scotland, with no new reports in children under 10 years since last week’s report.

Commenting on the latest data Dr Nick Phin, Director of Public Health Science at PHS, said:

“Public Health Scotland continues to monitor infections caused by Group A strep (GAS), which have been increasing since the beginning of October.

“Whilst GAS infections, including scarlet fever and tonsillitis, are common; the more serious Invasive GAS (IGAS) infections are very rare.

“The bacteria causing GAS infections is usually found in the throat and on the skin. We would, therefore, encourage adults to ensure children wash their hands frequently with soap and water, and to cover their mouth and nose with a tissue when they cough or sneeze and then put the used tissue in the bin. These simple actions can help to reduce the spread of common infections like Group A strep.”

More information on GAS infections can be found in last week’s update

More information on scarlet fever, including when to seek medical advice, can be found on NHS Inform.


Last updated: 04 January 2023