A dangerous form of strep is infecting kids, leading to fatalities.
Common strep throat is something that most people are familiar with, and many have had it at one point or another in their lives. When treated promptly with antibiotics, common strep typically does not pose a serious health threat for most people. With that said, other forms of strep – including invasive group A – can be life-threatening.
Unfortunately, cases of invasive group A strep seem to be rising in various areas around the country, and some deaths from the infection have been reported. Awareness of this issue is important as catching and treating it early is one of the most important factors in preventing it from becoming a dangerous situation.
When trying to understand the severity of this disease, it’s important to note the word “invasive” in the title. What makes invasive group A strep so serious is that it moves into the body and travel to places where germs don’t typically exist. These areas can include deep muscle tissue and even in the bloodstream. It’s not as easy for bacteria to invade these parts of the body, which is why this condition is not more common. However, when it does occur, it is very dangerous and can be fatal for a significant percentage of the people who are affected. The invasiveness of the infection causes it to spread very quickly.
Like many diseases, the incidence of invasive group A strep declined during the COVID-19 pandemic, as people weren’t around each other as much and many other bacteria didn’t have the opportunity to be passed around. Now that most areas of life are back to normal and people are spending time together once again, this disease has picked up its pace. Cases are on the rise in both the United States and United Kingdom. In one example of the seriousness of this situation, already in 2023 five children have died from invasive group A strep in the state of Illinois alone.
Since time is an important factor in getting this condition treated and cared for properly, it’s crucial to know what symptoms to take note of when someone is feeling ill. As a starting point, the symptoms can look similar to what would be found with many other types of illnesses, including achy muscles, nausea or vomiting, and trouble controlling body temperature. Often, with invasive group A strep, those symptoms will be followed one or two days later with issues like an increased heart rate and a drop in blood pressure. The skin may also become red or swollen, and even painful to the touch.
People should not be struggling with the illness brought on by this disease for long without getting medical attention. Prompt intervention is the key to achieving positive health outcomes. For that reason, the more people that know about the risks of invasive group A strep, the better. Armed with information about what this disease looks like and how it can impact people who are infected, parents and others can act right away when troubling signs appear.