SEVEN children have died from a flesh-eating bug which has been spreading over the past two years – and is now killing far more children than meningitis.
Over half of the 66 children who contracted it had to be treated in intensive care units, and 70pc of these needed surgery.
The invasive Group A Streptococcus infection (iGAS) has hit three times as many girls as boys, and 42pc of those infected were aged two years or less.
In some cases the disease was so aggressive that doctors treating those who died had "little time for effective intervention", a major European conference in Dublin will hear today.
Two Irish doctors, Prof Karina Butler, consultant paediatrician at Our Lady's Hospital in Crumlin, and Dr Juliette Lucey from the infectious diseases department at Our Lady's and Temple Street Children's Hospitals will outline a "resurgence" of iGas here in the past two years.