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CDC Releases Toolkit to Help Identify and Manage Group A Strep Invasive Infections in LTC Facilities

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is looking into an increase in invasive group A strep (iGAS) infections, which include necrotizing fasciitis and streptococcal toxic shock syndrome. This increase was observed from 2022 to 2023 in other populations and is an emerging concern for residents of long term care facilities (LTCFs).

What facilities need to know:

  • Group A Streptococcus (GAS) infections are a serious cause of illness and death for adults 65 years of age or older.
  • Residents of LTCFs are particularly at risk for severe infection and death from GAS infections.
  • These infections can be grouped into two general categories: invasive and non-invasive.
    • Invasive GAS Infection
    • Non-Invasive GAS Infection
      • Detection of GAS by isolation, molecular test, or rapid antigen detection test (also called a rapid strep test) from a non-sterile site (e.g., throat) in a patient who has a clinical presentation consistent with GAS infection, such as pharyngitis (also called strep throat) or wound infection, and who does not meet the invasive case definition.

The CDC has released a toolkit to help identify and manage outbreaks of group A strep in LTCFs, including skilled nursing and rehabilitation facilities. This toolkit will help inform providers and provide a guideline for strong infection prevention and control practices specific to stopping GAS transmission and preventing outbreaks in LTCFs. These investigation tools provide detailed approaches to investigating and controlling GAS outbreaks in LTCFs.

The following CDC links provide more information and may also be helpful:

  • Information on identifying and managing outbreaks of group A strep in LTCFs is available here.
  • More on the investigation process can be found here.
  • The CDC describes the increased risk for residents of LTCFs here.
  • More information on transmission is available here.
  • Additional resources from the CDC can be found here.

As a reminder, the investigation tools are a guide for addressing typical scenarios and do not encompass all LTCF GAS outbreak scenarios and response actions. LTCF staff should work with their local public health departments when investigating suspected GAS outbreaks.

Contact: Carrie Mosley, cmosley@leadingageny.org, 518-867-8383 ext. 147