Invasive group A streptococcus (iGAS) infections – what you need to know – Humankind

Invasive group A streptococcus (iGAS) infections – what you need to know

Read our information and advice on invasive group A streptococcus (iGAS) infections

What is invasive group A streptococcus (iGAS)?

Invasive group A streptococcus (iGAS) infections occur when the bacteria get past the defences of the person who is infected. This may occur when a person has sores or other breaks in the skin that allow the bacteria to get into the tissue. This can particularly affect people who inject drugs.

Signs and Symptoms

  • High fever considered to be above 38C
    – touch your chest and back. If they feel hotter than usual, you may have a high temperature. You may also have other symptoms such as feeling shivery (chills). Touching your forehead is not a very accurate way of checking your temperature.
  • Severe muscle aches
  • Localised muscle tenderness
  • Redness at the site of a wound
  • If you have any of these symptoms, get checked out by your GP as soon as possible

Things you can do to reduce the risk of you getting an iGAS infection

  • Wash your hands regularly.
  • Keep injection sites clean and wash them before every injection. If you don’t have soap and water use an alcohol wipe.
  • Don’t share any injecting equipment or crack pipes.
  • If you are worried, get your wounds checked in any of our services.
  • iGAS is infectious. If you are poorly, don’t mix with others until you have completed your course of antibiotics.
  • Smoke drugs rather than injecting them.

You can download this information in a printable poster.