Outbreak of highly contagious bacterial infection with no symptoms kills 14

Another person has died following an outbreak of a highly contagious bacterial infection, bringing the total to 14.

It comes as a total 37 people have become infected across Essex with Strep A bacteria, which is spread through sneezing, kissing and skin contact.

The Mid Essex Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said in a statement it was unable to name the victim and is working to control the spread.

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A spokesman said: "Following regular communications with the patients and their families affected by this outbreak, we have been informed that a patient in mid Essex who had previously been treated for iGAS earlier in the year has sadly died.

"Our thoughts are with their family.

"We are reporting this retrospectively having completed investigations to conclude that their death is linked to this outbreak.

"To protect patient confidentiality we are unable to confirm when they had iGAS or when they passed away."

The health body continues to investigate the health which has claimed 14 lives and said the outbreak of the invasive Group A streptococcal (iGAS) began in Braintree.

Of the 37 people infected so far, 33 are confirmed to be as part of the outbreak and four are probable cases.

The outbreak was first made public in June this year and has been among the elderly, most of whom were receiving treatment for wounds.

Additional cases have been found around Chelmsford and Maldon in Essex.

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The CCG has discovered two new cases one was diagnosed in Basildon, Essex in 2018 and in February 2019 in Southend, in Essex.

Group A streptococcus can be found in the throat and on the skin and people may carry it in the throat or on the skin and have no symptoms of illness.

Life-threatening iGAS disease can occur when bacteria get into parts of the body where it is usually are not found, such as the blood, muscle, or the lungs.

These infections are termed invasive Group A Streptococcal (iGAS) disease.

Mid Essex CCG say they are leading an incident management team to control and prevent the spreading of the infection.

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