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Surveillance and outbreak reports Open Access
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Abstract

Invasive group A streptococcal infections (iGAS) are a major clinical and public health challenge. iGAS is a notifiable disease in Ireland since 2004. The aim of this paper is to describe the epidemiology of iGAS in Ireland for the first time over the seven-year period from 2004 to 2010. The Irish national electronic infectious disease reporting system was used by laboratories to enter the source of iGAS isolates, and by departments of public health to enter clinical and epidemiological details. We extracted and analysed data from 1 January 2004 to 31 December 2010. Over the study period, 400 iGAS cases were notified. The annual incidence of iGAS doubled, from 0.8 per 100,000 population in 2004 to 1.6 in 2008, and then remained the same in 2009 and 2010. The reported average annual incidence rates were highest among children up to five years of age (2.3/100,000) and adults aged over 60 years (3.2/100,000). The most common risk factors associated with iGAS were skin lesions or wounds. Of the 174 people for whom clinical syndrome information was available, 28 (16%) cases presented with streptococcal toxic shock syndrome and 19 (11%) with necrotising fasciitis. Of the 141 cases for whom seven-day outcomes were recorded, 11 people died with iGAS identified as the main cause of death (seven-day case fatality rate 8%). The notification rate of iGAS in Ireland was lower than that reported in the United Kingdom, Nordic countries and North America but higher than southern and eastern European countries. The reasons for lower notification rates in Ireland compared with other countries may be due to a real difference in incidence, possibly due to prescribing practices, or due to artefacts resulting from the specific Irish case definition and/or low reporting in the early stages of a new surveillance system. iGAS disease remains an uncommon but potentially severe disease in Ireland. Ongoing surveillance is required in order to undertake appropriate control measures and gain a greater understanding of this disease.

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/content/10.2807/ese.16.41.19988-en
2011-10-13
2017-11-17
http://instance.metastore.ingenta.com/content/10.2807/ese.16.41.19988-en
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