Invasive Group A Streptococcal - Statistics and Incidence Rate

Group A streptococcus (GAS) is a bacteria that is naturally found in many people's throats; it may cause illnesses such as sore throats ('strep throat'), skin infections, or scarlet fever. Occasionally, it will cause more serious invasive disease, such as inflammation of the muscle tissue known as necrotizing fasciitis ("flesh eating" disease) or streptococcal toxic shock syndrome.

Invasive GAS infections occur when the bacteria get past the defenses of the person who is infected. This may occur when a person has sores or other breaks in the skin that allow the bacteria to get into the tissue, or when the person's ability to fight off the infection is decreased because of chronic illness or an illness that affects the immune system. Symptoms of group A streptococcal infection include fever, tiredness, generally feeling unwell, or pain and redness in the affected area.

Invasive Group A Streptococcal in Niagara

  • Significantly more confirmed iGAS cases were reported in February compared to the historical 5 year monthly average (Figure 1).
  • A total of 18 confirmed cases of iGAS were reported up to the end of September 2016.
  • The overall incidence rate of iGAS for both Niagara and Ontario has been fluctuating with Niagara below the province from 2012 to 2014 (Figure 2).

Figure 1. Number of confirmed invasive Group A Streptococcal cases in the Niagara region by month, compared to historical five year average and 95 per cent confidence interval (2011-2015)


Confirmed cases reported.
Sources: Integrated Public Health Information System [2010-2016], extracted October 25, 2016 by Niagara Region Public Health.

Figure 2. Incidence rate of invasive Group A Streptococcal by year, for Niagara region and Ontario (2006-2014).

Confirmed cases reported. Sources: Integrated Public Health Information System [2006-2015], extracted October 25, 2016 by Niagara Region Public Health; Population Estimates, IntelliHealth, Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care [2016], extracted September 29, 2016 by Niagara Region Public Health.

Ontario data: Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, Integrated Public Health System database, extracted by Public Health Ontario [October 25, 2016].

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