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Government of

Information and public services for the Island of Jersey

L'înformâtion et les sèrvices publyis pouor I'Île dé Jèrri

Precautionary treatment for group A strep and chickenpox

09 February 2023

piucture of a vaccination needle and containers of vaccine

The Public Health Department is advising parents of children in the reception classes at Grouville primary school to take up the offer of preventative treatment from group A Streptococcal, known as ‘group A strep’, and chickenpox. 

Grace Norman, Deputy Director of Public Health said: “Public Health have been notified of both group A strep and chickenpox in the reception classes. Both are common and highly infectious childhood illnesses, and when caught together can increase the chances of developing a more severe infection, although this is rare.

“We are recommending a course of antibiotics for the prevention or treatment of group A strep infection, and vaccination to protect against chickenpox for children in the affected school year. Although no children in the school have both group A strep and chickenpox at the same time, we are offering this precautionary measure to reduce the risk of this happening.

“I want to provide reassurance that this is not needed for children outside of these classes at Grouville School. The Public Health and Hospital Health Protection Team monitor information related to infectious diseases and the team are positioned to respond quickly if needed. 

“We are working closely with the school who have been extremely proactive in making sure that all enhanced hygiene measures are being followed to reduce the spread and are supporting us to coordinate the delivery of these preventative measures.”

Comment from Headteacher

Nichola Turner, Headteacher at Grouville said: “The welfare of the children within our school are always our primary priority. We have worked with our colleagues in Public Health to adopt all recommended enhanced hygiene measures and have protocols in place to alert us to cases in other year groups. I can confirm that at present we have no cause for concern, and I will keep our parents updated should this situation change.”

Strep A symptons

Group A Streptococcal can cause infections such as scarlet fever or strep throat. Infections caused by group A strep are usually mild illnesses, but they are highly infectious and mainly affect children and young people. Symptoms to look out for include: 

  • A sore throat 
  • Headache
  • Fever of 38c or more
  • A fine, pinkish or red body rash with a sandpapery feel 
  • A red face excluding the area around the mouth, and a white or red tongue 

Anyone with symptoms, should seek medical advice from their GP.


Early treatment with antibiotics is important to reduce the risk of complications such as pneumonia or a bloodstream infection. Anyone with scarlet fever or group A strep infection should stay at home until at least 24 hours after the start of antibiotic treatment to avoid spreading the infection to others. The whole course of antibiotics should be completed to avoid complications.

Chickenpox usually gets better by itself within a week without needing to see a GP. It causes a rash of red, itchy spots that turn into fluid-filled blisters, which crust over to form scabs. To prevent chickenpox spreading, children should stay away from nursery or school until all spots have crusted over, which is usually 5 days after the spots first appeared. It is very easy to catch chickenpox.

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