A primary school pupil has died and a second is being treated in hospital after an outbreak of bacteria at a primary school in Surrey.
Both pupils are believed to be in the same age group at Ashford Church of England Primary School.
The couple caught the rare invasive group A streptococcal (iSGA) infection, the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) said. The government agency said it had recommended that staff and students prescribe antibiotics.
The deceased child would be six years old and the first year.
Dr Claire Winslade, health protection consultant at UKHSA South East, said: ‘We are extremely saddened to learn of the death of a pupil at Ashford Church of England school, and our hearts go out to his family, friends and the school community.
“As a precautionary measure, we have recommended antibiotics to students and staff in the same age groups as those affected. We have provided advice to the school to help prevent further cases and will continue to monitor the situation.
“Information has been shared with parents about the signs and symptoms of iGAS, which include high fever with severe muscle aches, pain in one area of the body, and unexplained vomiting or diarrhoea. Anyone with these symptoms should call NHS11 immediately.
Infection with Group A Streptococcus bacteria usually causes a sore throat or rash and is spread through physical contact or through droplets from sneezing or coughing.
In very rare cases, the infection can become invasive and enter parts of the body where the bacteria are not normally found and can cause serious and life-threatening conditions such as necrotizing fasciitis and streptococcal toxic shock syndrome.
A UKHSA spokesperson said: ‘Specialists are arranging for antibiotics to be offered to pupils and staff at a school in Surrey as a precaution, following two cases of invasive group A streptococcus (iGAS).
“Sadly one pupil at Ashford Church of England Primary School has died and another is in hospital but is showing positive signs of recovery.”