A rise in strep throat (iGAS, GAS) cases has many experts and parents concerned about children’s health. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are investigating the possibility of an increase in invasive group A strep bacterial infections among youth in the United States.
Rise of Strep Throat Cases
In recent weeks many children’s hospitals all over the country have reported seeing a rise in dangerous strep A infections. These reports have caused federal officials to launch an investigation into the spread of the illness.
The CDC made note of the strep throat infections on its website. They also warned that a could complicate doctors’ efforts to treat the infection. However, experts want people to know that there are many available antibiotics that group A strep responds to.
Strep throat cases are “still relatively rare” stated Dr. Samuel Dominguez, an infectious disease specialist at Children’s Hospital Colorado, which has seen an uptick in cases. The reports of group A strep ” is not a cause for panic at this point in time.”
I don’t think it’s something to be too worried about, but parents should definitely be aware this is happening so that if they see any worrisome signs, they bring their kids in for medical attention as soon as possible.
What Is Group A Strep?
Group A strep is a bacterial infection that can make a person’s throat feel scratchy and sore. This illness accounts for only a small portion of sore throats. If strep throat is left untreated it can cause complications such as rheumatic fever or kidney inflammation.
Rheumatic fever can lead to inflamed and painful joints, heart valve damage, or a specific type of rash. Strep throat affects people of all ages though it is most common in children.
Signs & Symptoms of Strep Throat
People who have group A strep may experience:
- Red and swollen tonsils, sometimes with white patches or streaks of pus.
- Swollen, tender lymph nodes in your neck.
- Painful swallowing.
- Throat pain which usually comes on quickly.
- Nausea or vomiting, especially in younger children.
- Body aches.
People can experience these signs and symptoms but not have strep throat. Viral infection or other illnesses can cause similar symptoms.
When to Call a Doctor
Individuals should contact their doctor if they have:
- A sore throat that lasts longer than 48 hours.
- Problems breathing or swallowing.
- A fever.
- A sore throat accompanied by tender, swollen lymph glands.
- A sore throat accompanied by a rash.
- If strep has been diagnosed, a lack of improvement after taking antibiotics for 48 hours.
The wave in cases in the U.S. comes after a wave of invasive group A strep cases swept across the United Kingdom. A wave of infections that caused at least 15 children to die, according to the U.K. Health Security Agency.
By Sheena Robertson
Hartford Courant: Rising cases of invasive strep A in kids have experts concerned
The Emergency Email & Wireless Network: CDC warns of a rise in severe strep infections
Mayo Clinic: Strep throat
Top and Featured Image by Mp3car Courtesy of Wikimedia – Creative Commons License