We report an outbreak of invasive and noninvasive group A Streptococcus during April 2017 among people who inject drugs in southwest England. To date we have identified 14 cases linked to a specific town, all confirmed as group A Streptococcus emm94.0, a strain type not previously reported in the area. We have yet to identify a source for this ongoing outbreak. Actions described here may help reduce the burden of infection in vulnerable populations.
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The authors thank the members of the outbreak control team and everyone who contributed to the investigation of this outbreak. This report could not have been written without assistance from colleagues at the UK National Reference Laboratory, including Roger Daniel, Chenchal Dhami, and Fahima Rashid, who conducted emm typing of isolates; and Vicki Chalker, who critically reviewed the manuscript. The authors also thank their colleagues in local authority, National Health Service hospital trusts, the health protection unit, and homeless and drugs/alcohol support agencies.
- Disease notification
- Streptococcal infection
- Substance abuse
- Vulnerable populations