No new cases of Group A Streptococcus (iGAS) have been recorded since August 2019 following an outbreak across the county.

Mid Essex CCG confirmed that as of October 2019, 15 people had died from the infection and a total of 39 people had been affected.

The infection is believed to have started in Braintree, with cases also being found in west Essex, including Chelmsford and Maldon.

As a result the CCG, have taken the decision to step down the Incident Management Team and some of the control measures that have been in place since March 2019.

This is in line with criteria agreed in September 2019 by all organisations involved in the Incident Management Team.

A press release issued by Mid Essex CCG said: “All organisations involved in managing the outbreak will remain vigilant in the coming months and will continue to assess the situation as the control measures are carefully reviewed and downgraded.

“Some of the control measures will continue and others have been revised. For example, wounds of adult patients being treated by mid Essex community nursing teams will continue to be closely monitored for signs of infection and swabs taken where required to check for the bacteria.

Group A strep bacteria can cause infections which range from minor illnesses to deadly diseases.

The illness usually displays no symptoms but can be found in the throat and on the skin.

iGAS is spread through those infected by sneezing or coughing, which could lead to impetigo or scarlet fever and in extreme cases, blood stream infections like septicaemia.

Rachel Hearn, director of nursing and quality at Mid Essex CCG said: “The safety and care of our patients and residents across mid Essex remains our first priority and we want to reassure everyone that the CCG is still working closely with partners to monitor the situation and will continue to do so.

“Our thoughts remain with the families of patients affected and those who have died as a result of iGAS.”

Last autumn Mid Essex CCG commissioned an independent investigation into the outbreak. A report from the investigation is due to be published in the spring.

For background information on the mid Essex iGas outbreak, call The local Freephone helpline number, 03000 032124.