Streptococcus (simply called strep) is a common group of bacteria. Different types of strep cause different diseases. Most often they cause sore throat (strep throat) or skin infections. But they can cause life-threatening infections in other parts of your body.
Streptococcus 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
Doctors treat streptococcal infections with antibiotics
You have different symptoms depending on where you have the infection:
Throat infection (strep throat): Sore throat, swollen lumps in your neck, fever, pus on your tonsils
Infection under your skin (necrotizing fasciitis): Chills, fever, and severe pain and tenderness in the part of your body that’s infected
Necrotizing fasciitis is very serious. You could get gangrene and lose an arm or leg or even die.
Rheumatic fever gives you painful, swollen joints. Children with rheumatic fever may have uncontrollable, jerky movements of their arms and legs. Rheumatic fever sometimes damages the heart's valves. But heart valve damage usually doesn't show up for many years.
Scarlet fever gives you a rash on your face, then the rest of your body. The rash feels like sandpaper. When it fades, your skin peels. Your tongue gets red bumps, so it looks like a strawberry (called strawberry tongue).