The health ministry on Friday announced protection measures against Strep A, including good hygiene and avoiding overcrowding in closed spaced.

It also recommended that children who show respiratory symptoms stay at home, avoid using common household utensils.

According to the ministry the group A β-haemolytic streptococcus is the main cause of microbial pharyngitis and that children aged five to 15 years are most often affected, although it can also occur in younger children and adults.

Strep A is transmitted by close contact with an infectious person (mainly during acute infection) through the respiratory tract (cough, sneeze) or from a wound and that the expected time of onset of symptoms from contact is two to five days days.

Streptococcus causes infections of the skin, soft tissues and the respiratory tract, while it is responsible for infections such as tonsillitis, scarlet fever and infectious wax. It is reassuring, however, that these infections are rarely serious and symptoms subside with medication, while it can rarely cause serious invasive infections (septicemia, meningitis).

Parents should be aware that strep infections cause various symptoms such as sore throat, fever, headache, abdominal pain, vomiting, nausea and the appearance of a red rash and red spots on the tongue in the case of scarlet fever.

A doctor should be notified if these symptoms appear and also if the child eats less than usual, shows signs of dehydration, if the baby is under three months old and has a temperature of 38℃ and over or older than 3 months and has a temperature of 39℃ or higher, and if the child seems very tired or irritable.