Invasive Group A Streptococcus (IGAS) – which can cause afflictions from a sore throat to flesh-eating disease – is on the rise in Waterloo.
Chief Medical officer of Health Dr Hsiu-Li Wong presented the respiratory disease update at the Region of Waterloo council meeting on Wednesday evening.
While the overall number of people infected is still low as of early January, the Public Health Agency of Ontario noted that 540 infections were reported in Ontario alone from October 2023 to the end of December. Within this data were 6 children under the age of 9 who succumbed to the disease.
Dr .Wong described symptoms of a severe IGAS infection, which include fever, sore throat, neck pain and rash that continue to worsen.
Epidemiologists do not yet understand why the disease has spiked and recommend taking precautions including proper hand hygiene and staying home when sick.