Malta has registered two cases of invasive Strep A infections but health authorities will not confirm or deny if there have been any deaths associated with the bacterial infection. 

Both Health Minister Chris Fearne and Superintendent of Public Health Charmaine Gauci said they could not confirm reports of a death, due to an ongoing magisterial inquiry into the case. 

Fearne confirmed that Malta has registered two cases of invasive Strep A, but gave no details on when the cases were registered or the ages of the patients. 

“I can confirm that this winter we have registered two cases of Strep A, which is not more than what is usually reported in previous years,” Fearne said. 

“Of course, in the past two years with restrictions, wearing masks and not meeting people, there were no cases, but in normal cases, there are usually cases of Strep A.”

Group A Streptococcus (Strep A) is a bacteria that can often be found in the throat or skin. People can carry the bacteria in their throat or on their skin and not become ill, as most Strep A infections are fairly mild illnesses. 

Very rarely Strep A causes severe infections and the bacteria can be found in the blood, muscle, lungs, or brain. Such infections are called invasive and can be life-threatening. 

Regarding reports that a girl's death was linked to Strep A, Fearne said he could not comment due to the ongoing magisterial inquiry on the case. 

Back in December, health authorities said Malta had only registered one case of invasive Strep A and issued a circular to doctors advising them to be “judicious” in their prescribing of antibiotics in response to suspected cases. 

Last month, a number of European countries saw a surge in Strep A cases in young children, with the UK reporting at least 30 children have died from Strep A infections since September. 

Strep A symptoms to look out for

  • Fever
  • Sore throat and tonsils
  • Muscle aches and pains 
  • Tiredness
  • Sores or rashes

Independent journalism costs money. Support Times of Malta for the price of a coffee.

Support Us