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Essex Strep A: District nurses 'most likely cause' of outbreak

The "most likely cause" of a bacterial outbreak that has seen 15 people die was district nursing teams, a document obtained by the BBC has revealed. 

At least 33 people in Essex have been infected by the strain of invasive Group A Streptococcus (iGAS) bacterium. Of 32 cases initially found in the area 29 had previously been visited by Provide nurses, files obtained showed. Mid Essex Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said an investigation into the cause was continuing.

Provide said it had "robust infection prevention policies" and that the cause of the infection may never be known.

The BBC submitted a request under the Freedom of Information Act to Public Health England (PHE) and the CCG, which oversaw health spending in the area, for documents relating to the outbreak.

A PHE briefing note received through the request said: "The most likely hypothesis as to cause of the outbreak is contact with, and spread via, district nursing services in the area."

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Source: BBC News, 19 October 2019


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