Strepto infections

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Overview

Acute Streptococcus pyogenes infections may take the form of pharyngitis, scarlet fever (rash), impetigo, cellulitis, or erysipelas. Invasive infections can result in necrotizing fasciitis, myositis and streptococcal toxic shock syndrome. Patients may also develop immune-mediated sequelae such as acute rheumatic fever and acute glomerulonephritis. S agalactiae may cause meningitis, neonatal sepsis, and pneumonia in neonates; adults may experience vaginitis, puerperal fever, urinary tract infection, skin infection, and endocarditis. Viridans streptococci can cause endocarditis, and Enterococcus is associated with urinary tract and biliary tract infections. Anaerobic streptococci participate in mixed infections of the abdomen, pelvis, brain, and lungs.

Symptoms

Throat pain that usually comes on quickly.

Painful swallowing.

Red and swollen tonsils, sometimes with white patches or streaks of pus.

Tiny red spots on the area at the back of the roof of the mouth (soft or hard palate)

Swollen, tender lymph nodes in your neck.

Fever.

Headache.

Rash.

Causes

Group A Streptococcus bacteria causes group A streptococcal infections.

Your immune system is responsible for defending your body from outside invaders, like bacteria, that cause illness. When bacteria enter your body, you experience symptoms. At the same time, your immune system works to destroy the bacteria to limit the amount of harm it does to your body.

Sometimes your immune system needs a little bit of help to destroy bacteria that are in your body, which is why your healthcare provider will offer medicine like antibiotics to reduce your symptoms faster.

Risk factors

Strep throat is more common in children than adults. It is most common in children 5 through 15 years old. It is very rare in children younger than 3 years old.

History of ill contact.

Over crowding.

Frequent sinus infections.

Smoking.

Attending day care.

Immunocompromised.

Cold season.

Allergic rhinitis.

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Complications

Abscesses (pockets of pus) around the tonsils or in the neck.

Swollen lymph nodes in the neck.

Sinus infections.

Ear infections.

Rheumatic fever (a disease that can affect the heart, joints, brain, and skin)

Post-streptococcal glomerulonephritis (a kidney disease)

Prevention

Even though there is no vaccine to prevent group A streptococcal infections, you can reduce your risk of getting an infection or spreading infection by having good hygiene. Good hygiene includes:

Washing your hands with soap and water often.

Covering your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze.

Throwing away your tissues after using them.

Washing utensils, plates and glasses after someone who is sick uses them.

Staying home if you feel sick.

Cleaning and covering wounds until they heal.