Essex strep A outbreak death toll revised down to 12

Streptococcus pyogenes Image copyright BSIP/Getty Images
Image caption The Essex outbreak of Group A streptococcal (iGAS) infection began in Braintree

The death toll after an outbreak of Group A streptococcal infection has been lowered to 12, health bosses said.

Mid Essex Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said tests had shown cases in Basildon and Southend were not part of the mid Essex outbreak.

Whole genome sequencing was used to determine if the bacterial strains were the same.

The infection was discovered in Braintree and cases have been found in Chelmsford and Maldon.

The CCG said those affected were older people and the majority were receiving treatment for wounds, some in care homes but most in their own homes.

There have been 30 confirmed cases and two probable cases, according to the CCG.

It is working with Public Health England (PHE), Provide Community Interest Company which supplies the majority of mid Essex community health services, NHS England and NHS Improvement to manage the situation.

To limit the spread of the infection, it said it had put in place measures including a programme of preventative antibiotics for community nursing staff and a deep clean of all community nurse bases.

PHE East said it was carrying out a full investigation.

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