Medical questions & health advice by licensed doctors
"Should I worry about my child's strep throat?"
My child has gotten strep throat for the second time this year. Is something wrong with her? How can someone get strep more than once a year?
Strep throat, also known as streptooccal pharyngitis, streptococcal tonsillitis, or streptococcal sore throat, is a type of pharyngitis caused by a group A streptococcal infection that can make a person's throat feel sore and scratchy. It infects most commonly in children between the ages of 5 and 15. It is important to schedule an appointment with a pediatrician or primary care doctor for your daughter to receive prompt treatment. Strep throat should never be taken lightly. If untreated, on rare occasions, strep throat can cause more severe illness such as kidney inflammation and rheumatic fever and both of these can be fatal. Other complications are ear infection, sinusitis, mastoiditis, peritonsillar abscess, glomerulonephritis, scarlet fever. Strep, or Streptococcus pyogenes, is a common strain of bacteria that can live in a person's throat and nose and are highly contagious. Although strep throat can occur anytime of the year, it is most common in late fall to early spring. There are no vaccines for this so recurrences are possible. Strep bacteria, which spread through close contact with an infected person and thus crowding among family members, in schools and in child care settings increases the rate of transmission. It is not uncommon for a child or an adult to get strep throat more than once a year. Recurrences can sometimes signal an immune deficiency syndrome, and your child should follow up with a pediatrician for further evaluation.
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