What’s going around: Strep throat is prevalent in the area
Sore throats in winter and spring months are commonly due to colds and allergies.
But this season, your common colds and allergies may not be the cause of your sore throat; it may instead be caused by a bacterial infection called strep throat, aka Group A Streptococcus. Infections with strep typically cause painful swallowing but can also manifest with fever, red and swollen tonsils or swollen lymph nodes in the neck, vomiting and even belly pain.
For pediatricians, strep throat is nothing to report about, but with cases on the rise, even the experts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are sounding the alarm.
According to the CDC, there is an increase in invasive infections among children.They point out that numbers were very low during the pandemic as people took precautions to prevent the spread of diseases, but now there is a return to levels similar to those seen in pre-pandemic years.
“We’re definitely seeing an uptick in strep throat cases this winter and spring, as many kids come in to test for COVID and come up positive for strep throat,” said Melissa Marrocco, FNP. “The surprising part is that many parents and even older adults are reporting the similar symptoms and coming up positive for strep infection as well.”
While some patients might try to ride out their sore throat, thinking it is from their allergies or colds, that is not recommended. Strep infections can cause complications like scarlet fever, rashes and even heart problems if left untreated.
Luckily, streptococcal infections are highly sensitive to antibiotics and can be treated quickly with medications like penicillin, amoxicillin or cephalosporins.
Atracare is a full-service medical office that operates exclusively in Sussex County. Its providers aim to report healthcare trends they see in the local community. Atracare’s walk-in clinics in Ocean View and Lewes are open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., daily. To make an appointment, text 302-754-5697 for the Ocean View clinic or 302–517-1385 for Lewes or go to atracare.com.