Epidemiological alert: Invasive disease caused by group A streptococci - 28 November 2023

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In December of 2022, the World Health Organization (WHO) released an alert on the increase in cases of invasive group A streptococcal (iGAS) infection in Europe, especially in children under 10 years of age. During the same period, the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO) issued an information note following cases of invasive GAS disease reported by Uruguay. In November of 2023, Argentina reported a significant increase in the notification of cases and deaths from this agent, and recent reports highlighted the presence of M1UK clones and a sublineage of M1 with the SpeC toxin in that country, which has been associated with this increase. In view of this situation, PAHO/WHO recommends that Member States conduct clinical and genomic surveillance, as well as ensure early diagnosis and timely treatment of cases of invasive group A streptococcal disease.