HEALTH bosses are scaling back control measures put in place following the outbreak of a deadly infection which has claimed more than a dozen lives.

The Mid Essex Clinical Commissioning Group says it has taken the decision because there have been no new cases of invasive group A streptococcus (iGAS) recorded since August last year.

A spokesman said the incident management team which was brought in following the outbreak in Braintree last February has been stepped down following discussions with Public Health England and healthcare provider Provide.

A total of 15 people in mid and west Essex died after contracting the bacterial infection, and a further 24 have been treated for it.

The majority of those affected are understood to be elderly people undergoing treatment in their own homes or care homes for chronic wounds.

Clinical commissioning group director of nursing and quality Rachel Hearn said: “We are beginning to step down the incident management and control measures following advice that there have been no new cases of invasive group A streptococcus linked to the mid Essex outbreak since August 2019.

“The safety and care of our patients and residents across mid Essex remains our first priority and we want to reassure everyone that the clinical commissioning roup is still working closely with partners to monitor the situation and will continue to do so.

“Our thoughts remain with the families of patients affected and those who have died as a result of iGAS.”

Some control measures will continue and others have been revised.

Wounds of adult patients being treated by mid Essex community nursing teams will continue to be closely monitored for signs of infection and swabs taken where required to check for the bacteria.

However, community nursing teams who were only working in the CM7 Braintree postcode area to minimise the risk of the infection spreading, have returned to “normal” working patterns.

The results of an independent investigation into the outbreak are expected to be published in the spring.