Some Chicago-area doctors say strep cases have increased in recent weeks and months, but as summer approaches, doctors warn symptoms may not always be obvious. are doing.
Dr. Neha Bagi, a pediatrician at John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital in Cook County, said she was among those seeing a rise in cases.
“The number of cases has actually gone up quite a bit,” she told NBC Chicago in an interview on Tuesday.
Bagi said the typical season for streptococcal infections may be winter, when children experience strep throat, but the infection can present with other symptoms, especially in warmer climates.
“Usually in the winter we have more sore throats and more strep ear infections. “Lack of layers of clothing can itself cause a staphylococcal infection of the skin with streptococci,” Bagi said.
The latest cases are on the rise in Illinois, just months after health officials warned of a dangerous and potentially fatal type of strep throat that has caused numerous child deaths in the state. Occurred.
Artie Barnes, M.D., chief medical officer of the Illinois Department of Public Health, said, “With the outbreak of group A streptococcus, we are worried about our children, but many communities and schools are experiencing an epidemic of strep throat. It’s just there,” he said. march.
of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention It also said at the time that it was “investigating an increase in invasive group A streptococcal infections in children in the United States,” and that such infections included necrotizing fasciitis and streptococcal toxic shock syndrome. added.
March 10, Dr Samir Bohra, Director of IDPH, said: In 2023, there will be “more cases of group A streptococcal infection with serious complications than in any of the past five years,” and he urged people to be on the lookout for early symptoms.
Those symptoms could include “sudden sore throat, pain when swallowing, fever,” Vora said.
In addition, there are typical and less typical symptoms that many people focus on with streptococcal infection.
”[Strep is] It’s very notorious,” Bagi said, adding, “So it can cause multiple signs and symptoms in the body.” You may have a strep-related ear infection. You may have a strep-related sore throat. You may have a strep-related brain infection. It can actually cause meningitis, a process called brain infection progression. Streptococci can also infect the skin, apparently more in the summer than in the winter, but this is apparently due to exposure. A strep infection can cause a very deep or very serious blood infection. This is called toxic shock syndrome, which can be caused by a strep infection. If left untreated, streptococci can eventually infect the kidneys and heart. ”
Bagi recommends that anyone exhibiting symptoms get tested.
Here’s what you should know:
with Mr Bhagi CDC, include:
- pain when swallowing
- the throat may appear red
- red swollen tonsils
- White spots or streaks of pus on the tonsils
- small red spots on the roof of the mouth called petechiae
- swollen lymph nodes in front of neck
“If you have a fever, which is a typical symptom of strep throat, even if it’s low grade, like 100.1, or even high grade, like 101 or 102, you don’t often have a cough. , ”
But streptococci can also infect the skin.
“Group A streptococci are highly contagious. When they infect the skin, they cause sores.” CDC states. “Bacteria can be spread to other people if someone touches the wound or touches the fluid that comes out of the wound.”
Experts say it can take up to 10 days for post-exposure bruises to appear.
Symptoms of this type of infection include “open, red, itchy wounds that leak clear fluid or pus for several days” and “yellow or “honey-colored” scabs forming over the wound”. I have.
“If you feel you have a developing skin infection, if you see yellowish discoloration, discharge, or crusting around your skin, especially on your face…or if you have an open wound. In some cases, if you just broke a bone, or if you fell somewhere and the wound is open and has a pus-like discharge, send it off with a cotton swab to see if a streptococcal infection is not progressing. It is better to check whether
less common symptoms
Lesser-known symptoms include:
Symptoms not related to streptococcal infection
Symptoms that are not likely to be seen in strep infections include:
- Hoarseness (a change in voice that sounds breathy, hoarse, or strained)
- pink eyes (conjunctivitis)
However, that does not mean that people with streptococcal infection do not have these symptoms.
“Usually there is not much coughing and not much runny or stuffy nose, but there are always atypical presentations. ”
One Symptom Seen in All Streptococcal Infections
All types of streptococcal infections have one symptom in common, Bagi said.
“I think with streptococcal infections, most of the time, everyone experiences some fever, whether it’s low-grade or high-grade,” she says.
What can be done to protect children?
To prevent group A streptococcal infection, the CDC recommends:
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
- Throw used tissues in the trash.
- If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your sleeve or elbow instead of your hands.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
To prevent skin infections:
- clean and care for wounds
- Wash your hands and laundry often
- Take antibiotics if prescribed