STREP A AND WHAT PARENTS NEED TO KNOW

While the “tridemic” is waging war on the US, filling hospital beds nation-wide, a new threat is lurking, making headlines, adding itself to flu, RSV, and COVID worries. Strep A is adding itself to the already hard sick season this year. Take a look below at what parents need to know!

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To date, reports from the UK have stated that 15 children under the age of 15 have died of Strep A since September. Although, according to the CDC, we haven’t seen such upticks in Strep cases on this side of the pond, parents need to be aware and stay vigilant of this new health threat.

So, just what is Strep A?

Per Dr. Matthew Harris, M.D., a pediatric emergency department physician at Cohen Children’s Medical Center, “Strep A, also known as Group A Streptococcus, is a bacterial [illness] that commonly causes infections in the throat. Strep A lives in people’s noses and throats.” 

Dr. Jessica Madden, M.D., a board-certified pediatrician and medical director of Aeroflow Breastpumps continued explaining the disease to Parents.com saying that, “It’s definitely overwhelming for all parents of young children right now, but it’s really important to be able to recognize the symptoms of Strep A so that parents can seek medical care if their children develop symptoms of it. Strep A is easy to diagnose (requires a throat culture) and is treated with antibiotics.”

Photo Credit: iStock

What are the signs and symptoms?

Strep A is spread through respiratory droplets when people sneeze or cough. Know, that there is no vaccine as of yet to protect against Strep A. 

Dr. Sara Siddiqui, M.D., a pediatrician at Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital at NYU Langone and NYU Langone Huntington Medical Group offers these signs to Parents.com readers. Some signs and symptoms to look out for include:

  • Fever (but not always)
  • Difficulties swallowing because of pain
  • Lethargy
  • Skin rashes

Diagnosis and treatment right away is extremely important.

“If there is a delay in treatment—seven to 10 days—undetected Strep A can affect the heart and kidneys,” Dr.  Siddiqui told the popular parenting magazine.

Additional potential complications can also include rheumatic fever, per the CDC, and as seen in the extreme UK cases, death.

If you suspect that your child may have Strep A, contact your pediatrician immediately.

Tiffany Silva

Tiffany Silva

Writer and Editor

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