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Streptococcal Infections

Summary

Strep is short for Streptococcus, a type of bacteria. There are two types: group A and group B.

Group A strep causes

  • Strep throat – a sore, red throat, sometimes with white spots on the tonsils
  • Scarlet fever – an illness that follows strep throat. It causes a red rash on the body.
  • Impetigo – a skin infection
  • Toxic shock syndrome
  • Cellulitis and necrotizing fasciitis (flesh-eating disease)

Group B strep can cause blood infections, pneumonia and meningitis in newborns. A screening test during pregnancy can tell if you have it. If you do, I.V. antibiotics during labor can save your baby’s life. Adults can also get group B strep infections, especially if they are elderly or already have health problems. Strep B can cause urinary tract infections, blood infections, skin infections and pneumonia in adults.

Antibiotics are used to treat strep infections.

NIH: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

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