GROUP A STREP INFECTION

Group A strep infection, or GAS, is caused by Streptococcus pyogenes, the most prevalent strain of Group A (beta-haemolytic) Streptococcus bacteria. GAS is a frequent illness that may lead to pharyngitis, scarlet fever, and impetigo.

In exceptional cases, it may induce a toxic shock syndrome comparable to that caused by Staphylococcus aureus, often known as ‘golden staph’ GAS is among the potential causes of the very uncommon disease necrotizing fasciitis (flesh-eating bacteria).

Rarely, Group A strep infection may result in severe consequences such as rheumatic fever, which can harm the heart, and renal disease (glomerulonephritis).

TYPES

The bacteria of Group A strep infection cause different types of diseases like

  • Strep Throat
  • Cellulitis
  • Scarlet Fever
  • Impetigo
  • Rheumatic Fever

SYMPTOMS

The signs and symptoms of each disease vary from one another. Details are given below.

Strep Throat

Strep throat is generally a mild infection but can be very painful. The symptoms of strep throat include:

  • Red spots in the mouth 
  • Sore throat 
  • Red and swollen tonsils
  • Pain during swallowing
  • Fever
  • Swollen lymph nodes at anterior of the neck

Scarlet fever

Some persons with strep throat develop scarlet fever, a bacterial infection. Scarlatina, another name for scarlet fever, is characterized by a brilliant red rash that covers the majority of the body. Scarlet fever’s most typical signs and symptoms are:

  • Inflammation of the throat
  • Paleness around the mouth
  • Pink-red rash
  • A bright red tongue (known as ‘strawberry tongue)

Impetigo

A bacterial skin condition called impetigo is particularly prevalent in young children. Antibiotics are used by doctors to treat impetigo. Additionally, antibiotics can aid in preventing illness in others. The most typical symptoms of impetigo are:

  • Blisters on the legs and around the nose and mouth
  • Red, itchy sores
  • Fever
  • Swollen lymph nodes 

Cellulitis 

A typical bacterial skin infection called cellulitis makes the skin around the infected area red, swollen, and painful. It can spread and lead to major health issues if left addressed. It’s crucial to maintain good hygiene and wound care practices to avoid cellulitis. Cellulitis may affect any area of the body, although the feet and legs are most often affected. Among the signs of cellulitis are:

  • Fever and chills.
  • Red, swollen, and painful area of skin

Rheumatic fever

Acute rheumatic fever, often known as rheumatic fever, is a condition that can harm the skin, joints, brain, and heart. Failure to treat strep throat, scarlet fever, or strep skin infections successfully may result in rheumatic fever. Almost anybody may be harmed, although children (5 through 15 years old) are at a higher risk than adults. Rheumatic fever is uncommon in adults and children under the age of three. Rheumatic fever’s most typical symptoms include:

  • Fever
  • Arthritis
  • Chest pain
  • Fatigue 
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Fatigue 
  • Chorea
  • Arthritis
  • Nodules under the skin 
  • An enlarged heart
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fluid around the heart

DIAGNOSIS

After detailed physical examination and history, the physician may recommend these tests;

  • Throat swab examinations 
  • Blood tests
  • A swab of the blisters or crust of sores could be used to diagnose impetigo.
  • Rheumatic fever is diagnosed by blood tests, throat swab examination, echo, and ECG.

TREATMENT

The standard regimen is a course of antibiotic and length of treatment differ according to the site of infection. The following antibiotics may be prescribed:

  • Penicillin
  • Macrolide 
  • Cephalosporin
  • Antibiotic ointments to treat impetigo
  • Aspirin to reduce fever 

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