Stuttering is an interruption of the normal flow of speech, which takes on many different patterns. Commonly, it involves either saying a string of repeated sounds or making abnormal pauses during speech. In early childhood, stuttering is sometimes part of normal speech development. In fact, about 5% of all young children go through a brief period of stuttering when they are learning to talk. Stuttering typically is first noticed between the ages of 2 and 5. It usually goes away on its own within a matter of months. In a small number of children (around 1%), stuttering continues and may get worse. Boys are more likely to stutter than girls.
In addition, normal problems with fluency tend to come and go, or happen only at certain times (such as when a child is tired or excited), but true stuttering is present most of the time. Once a child begins to stutter, he or she may feel embarrassed, self-conscious or anxious when asked to speak. The child may find it hard to socialize with friends and also may intentionally avoid situations where talking is expected, such as telephone calls, classroom discussions and school plays.
Invasive group a streptococcal (iGAS) infections have been notifiable in Ireland since 2004. Incidence rates (2004–2011) have ranged from 0.8 to 1.65 per 100,000. In 2012, the iGAS rate rose to 2.66 per 100,000 and was associated with a high proportion of emm1 isolates. A further increase in January to June 2013 has been associated with increased prevalence of emm3. Public health departments and clinicians have been alerted to this increase. Major Research is been done in Ireland by Health, Safety & Environment.