What are streptococcal infections?
Streptococcus, simply called strep, is a common group of bacteria.
Different types of strep cause different diseases.
Most often they cause sore throat or skin infections, but they can cause life-threatening infections in other parts of your body.
Strep bacteria can live in and on your body without causing symptoms.
Infection can happen in your throat, middle ear, sinuses, lungs, skin, tissue under your skin, heart valves, and blood.
Infections can cause red and painful swollen tissues, scabby sores, sore throat, and a rash.
What causes strep infections?
Strep bacteria can be spread from person to person by breathing in infected droplets from someone's sneeze or cough, touching an infected sore, or giving birth, where it can spread from mother to baby.
What are the symptoms of strep infections?
If you have a throat infection, you may have a sore throat, swollen lumps in your neck, fever, and pus on your tonsils.
If you have a skin infection, you might have a painful red area on your skin or yellow crusty sores.
If you have an infection under your skin, you may have chills, fever, and severe pain and tenderness in that part of your body. This is very serious because it can lead to gangrene and you could lose a limb or even die.
What are the complications of strep infections?
Rheumatic fever gives you painful swollen joints.
Children may experience uncontrollable jerky movements of their arms and legs.
Scarlet fever gives you a rash on your face and body that feels like sandpaper. When it fades, your skin peels, and your tongue gets red bumps so it looks like a strawberry.
How can doctors tell if I have strep infection?
Doctors will test a swab from your sore throat or other infected tissue.
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