The CDC says cases of invasive group A strep infections, which rose in December after a pandemic lull, have remained high so far this year, ABC News reports.
“This follows confirmed reports that five children have died of invasive Strep A so far this year in Illinois,” ABC said.
In December, the CDC warned that cases of invasive Strep A were on the rise. The World Health Organization reported a surge of infections in several cases. United Kingdom officials reported almost three times as many infections in late 2022 than over the previous five years.
Wednesday, the CDC told ABC News that the number of invasive strep A illnesses in children in this country is back to where it was before the pandemic, higher in some places.
It is rarer and more dangerous than common strep throat, which can be treated with antibiotics. Early detection is important for all forms of strep.
Group A Strep (GAS) is a common bacterium that causes infections including strep throat. “If strep goes untreated or undertreated, it can lead to invasive group A strep,” ABC says. It gets more serious if it invades the blood or spinal fluid and can result in flesh-eating disease and toxic shock that sometimes leads to death.
Among symptoms to be on the lookout for are:
Skin becomes red, warm, swollen, or very painful soon after an injury or surgery
Fever and chills, muscle aches, nausea, and vomiting, followed 24 to 48 hours later by low blood pressure, increased heart rate, or rapid breathing
Toxic shock can lead to organ failure and death, the CDC says.
ABC News: “Invasive group A strep on the rise in parts of the US: What to know.”
CDC: “Increase in Invasive Group A Strep Infections, 2022–2023.”
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