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Missoula doctor offers advice as invasive group A strep cases rise

Health Watch MTN
Posted at 8:07 AM, Dec 26, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-26 10:49:12-05

MISSOULA – The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently issued a health advisory about a recent jump in invasive group A strep among kids.

The bacteria causes a wide range of illnesses from mild strep throat to severe sepsis. Invasive strep cases in children are relatively rare, but they increase with flu season.

Severe cases in children occur when the child has another infection on top of the strep. People over the age of 65 and those with chronic medical conditions are also among the groups at higher risk for this bacterial infection.

Community Medical Center (CMC) family medicine physician Dr. Charity Johnson says parents should be concerned about invasive strep, but aware that vaccines, hydration and attempting to reduce fevers can protect their child.

"Invasive, group A strep, with the concern of cellulitis or toxic shock syndrome, these should be concerns for every parent who's child comes down sick with a sore throat and a fever,” Johnson explained.

“And try to make sure that the child has the basics, their hydration, and their fever is down. If any rash appears on the child the parent should take them to the emergency room or urgent care. As long as the parent stays on top of the fever, and the hydration status, the child should have a good outcome."

Additional information about the signs of severe strep can be found on the CDC website.