Transcript for What parents should know about group A strep
- Streptococcal infections are common. They cause a multitude of different infections. But when you talk about group A strep, yes, that can cause strep throat. But it can also cause scarlet fever, rheumatic fever, impetigo, cellulitis, and necrotizing fasciitis, which can be deadly.
So this is a bad actor in certain cases and can lead to sepsis, septic shock, and death in rare cases. This is when that bacteria then enters the bloodstream and then can affect multiple other organ systems, like the heart and kidneys. For the run of the mill strep throat infection, which obviously is common, pediatricians and family practitioners see this every single day.
A rapid strep throat culture can tell you on the spot within minutes if antibiotics are recommended and important. This is a situation where you do not want to wait and observe. It's a bacterial infection. If the test is positive, antibiotics are warranted and started.
Amoxicillin normally is the antibiotic of choice, but it is important to make a diagnosis. In particular, young children, even pre-verbal children who can't speak yet, you want to watch for signs that they may be in distress, like drooling or inability to swallow liquids, very high fever, a child that's inconsolable because of the high fever or pain, particularly despite medication and treatment. Those can be warning signs.
Any blue discoloration of the nail beds or lips is obviously a medical emergency. But the key is really the basic things that we talk about all the time, hand hygiene, staying home if you're sick. And this is just a reminder that common things occur commonly, but rarely even common infections like this can be deadly.
This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.