Group A Streptococcal infection

  1. There is a national warning to look for potential streptococcal infection, with a bacteria called Group A Strep.
  2. There is also a large number of viral infections in our community, including COVID, Flu, RSV and Hand, foot and mouth, affecting adults and especially children.
  3. Thirdly we are running low on antibiotic supply, needing to use our stock wisely.

The combined mix of a virus along with the strep bacteria seems to be the biggest danger.

So what are we looking to treat with antibiotics (or maybe hospital) ?

  • Scarlet fever with “sandpaper rash”, “strawberry tongue”, high temperature, sore throat, sore glands.
  • Chest infections, where a bacterial (Streptococcal) infection may have added on top of the viral infection. Not just a cough, but other symptoms of being more unwell such as high temperature, rapid breathing, rapid heartbeat, dehydration, not eating and drinking normally.
  • Sepsis. Drowsy, rapid breathing, rapid heartbeat, not responding normally, reduced feeding.
  • Persisting or worsening symptoms: Most viral infections are improving around the 4-5 days of infection.

What are we not treating with antibiotics?

  • Every cough, every sore throat, every headache, every temperature.
  • We need to monitor these “viral infections” for signs of illnesses above, but we will not be able to give antibiotics “just incase”.
  • This advice could change in local areas where a serious outbreak of “invasive” infections is taking place – where the bacteria seem especially dangerous.
  • We are not currently aware of these serious cases in North Devon.

For advice about common infections, see links below.

What should parents do?

Sensible advice from BBC website:

Trust your judgement if your child seems seriously unwell.

Contact your local surgery if they:

  • are getting worse
  • are eating much less than normal
  • show signs of dehydration, such as a dry nappy for 12 hours
  • have a temperature of 39C or higher, or 38C if under three months old
  • are a baby and feel hotter than usual when you touch their back or chest or sweaty
  • are very tired or irritable

Call 999 or go to an accident-and-emergency unit if:

  • they are having difficulty breathing – you may notice grunting noises or their stomach sucking under their ribs
  • they are pausing when they breathe
  • their skin, tongue or lips are blue
  • they are floppy and will not wake up or stay awake

Flu Clinic, Sat 25 Sep and Sun 26 Sep 2021

Its flu vaccine time again, the list of those eligible has increased to include all over 50s, as well as “at risk groups”, more info here. If you think you may be eligible, call the surgery on 01237 441200 and book your vaccine. We are due a big vaccine delivery on Monday 20 September, and will confirm when they arrive on this page. (CONFIRM VACCINES ALL ARRIVED!)

What about COVID boosters?

These are seperately being arranged by a national booking system and we expect them to be offered by age-groups once again. After receiving an invitation letter you should be able to book through the national website here when they have appointments available for Westward Ho! and Barnstaple.

Any more flu vaccine dates?

Yes, as well as Sat 25 Sep, Sun 26 Sep we will also be flu jabbing on Sat 30 Oct.

Flu clinic – isolation not required

We have had a few people asking if they should isolate after coming for flu jabs on Saturday at the village hall. The vaccines were for more vulnerable people aged 18-64.

We would like to reassure you that the staff involved with the flu clinic have been asymptomatic and have been swab tested negative for COVID during this weekend.

The clinic was also a brief jab, in one door and out the other with all the precautions regarding ventilation, masks, gloves, alcohol gel and social distancing.

We must all remain alert that COVID is active in our community right now and follow the rules to protect those most at risk and to test if we have symptoms.

We still expect to be offering flu vaccine to all people aged 50-64 towards the end of November and will update the website when we have our vaccine delivery dates confirmed.

Flu Vaccine Update

Just a quick update regarding flu vaccine, the national NHS guidance is available here

  1. Over 65. We have done our over 65 group this last weekend, but we still have a small number available for any in this group who missed out. Please ring our reception team to book.
  2. Under 65 “at risk” (for example asthma or diabetes). We have an upcoming flu weekend on Saturday 24 October. You can check if you are “at risk” on this NHS page.
  3. Aged 50-64. This group will be offered flu vaccine this year, but we understand the supply of vaccine will be in December. We expect to have our supply confirmed later in November and we will update the website. Despite the later dates, we are advised there should be adequate supply of vaccine, we dont think you will “miss out”.

Flu – why am I asked to wait