December 15, 2022

US hospitals see increases in invasive strep A infections

By: Bridget Brown

Editor's Note

US Children’s hospitals are seeing a surge in invasive group A strep infections, NBC News reported on December 14, December 15 Becker’s Hospital Review reports. Physicians in Arizona, Colorado, Texas and Washington told NBC that they are detecting higher numbers of cases compared to past years, with Texas Children’s Hospital reporting 60 cases in the past 2 months.  

The infections caused by group A strep are typically mild, but can be more serious on rare occasions. The more severe infections occur when strep bacteria spreads to places of the body that aren’t prone to germs, including the bloodstream, NBC News disclosed. These infections can lead diseases, such as, pneumonia, cellulitis, necrotizing fasciitis, and streptococcal toxic shock syndrome. The worry comes from the life-threatening effects of the infection. According to the UK Health Security Agency, at least 15 children have died from invasive group A Strep since September.

Physicians note that the number of invasive A strep cases is not comparable to the amount of flu and RSV cases they are seeing. However, the CDC believes that the current viral infection surge may be contributing to the unexpected uptick in these invasive strep cases. "Oftentimes, kids who develop severe group A strep infections will start out with having a viral respiratory infection," Sam Dominguez, MD, infectious disease specialist noted.

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