Streptococcal infection (strep throat bacteria)

Throat | General Practice | Streptococcal infection (strep throat bacteria) (Disease)


Respiratory infections with group A streptococcus as strep throat and scarlet fever (which is also a strep throat, but accompanied by a distinctive rash) are common, usually relatively mild disease and are among the most contagious.

One of the most important factors in the spread of streptococcus group A is normal crowd. GBS is transmitted primarily by sputum (small drops removed by sneezing, coughing, runny nose). May be taken on a door handle or on another surface and then transferred into the nose and throat. Kitchen utensils and bathroom objects are other common sources of transmission of infection - so it is not surprising that streptococcal infections spread easily in kindergartens, schools, military units, offices and other environments .

Causes and Risk factors

Amoung all different types of bacteria and viruses that cause throat infections (or pharyngitis) or tonsils (or tonsillitis), group A streptococcus often causes the greatest concern because if untreated or if treated correctly, can lead to complications. These include acute rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease and a kidney disease called glomerulonephritis, acute (acute glomerulonephritis - AGN). Streptococcus group A causes a mild infection called ringworm of the skin but can cause serious infections of the blood and other tissues.

One form of invasive streptococcal disease (necrotizing fasciitis - necrotizing fasciitis) can cause some damage so severe that tissue was called carnivorous bacteria (the Flesh-eating bacteria). Proper management of upper respiratory tract infections can reduce all these complications. Streptococcus group A is often seen in the neck and tonsils, especially in children. In fact, this type of strep is considered an occupational disease of school-age children. Infection can occur in younger children and adults or the elderly.

Diagnosis and Treatment

GAS infections can be treated with many different antibiotics. Early treatment may reduce the risk of death from invasive group A streptococcal disease. However, even the best medical care does not prevent death in every case. For those with very severe illness, supportive care in an intensive care unit may be needed. For persons with necrotizing fasciitis, surgery often is needed to remove damaged tissue.


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