A child at a Weymouth nursery has been diagnosed with Strep A.

Parents whose children attend Holy Trinity Church of England Primary School, in Cross Road, have been written to by the UK Health Security Agency.

The infection has claimed the lives of eight children in the UK and can cause severe illness.

"We are writing to tell you that a child who attends our nursery has been diagnosed as having a 'strep throat infection'," the letter, dated December 5, states.

"We want to reassure you that most infections are relatively mild illnesses that result in sore throats, scarlet fever, or a skin infection."

Known as Group A Streptococcus (GAS), the infection survives in throats and hands and is spread through sneezing, kissing and skin contact.

The letter added that 'on very rare occasions', bacteria can cause 'severe disease' if it gets into an unknown part of the body, such as the blood, muscle or lungs.

These infections are known as invasive Group A Streptococcal disease.

Parents are being warned about the symptoms of invasive Strep A, including fever, severe muscle aches and localised muscle tenderness. 

"If you or your child develop any of these symptoms contact your GP or seek medical advice immediately," the letter says.  Holy Trinity Church of England Primary School has been contacted for further information.