Streptococcal Infections

What is streptococcal infection?

Streptococcal infections refer to a group of bacterial infections caused by the streptococcus (or “strep”) bacteria. The most common types of streptococci are Streptococcus pyogenes, which can cause a range of different illnesses, such as sore throat, sinus infections, and certain skin conditions. Streptococcal infections can range from mild to life-threatening.

What are the symptoms of streptococcal infection?

The symptoms of streptococcal infection depend on the type of infection. Common symptoms of streptococcal infections include:

  • Sore throat or difficulty swallowing
  • Fever and chills
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Painful or swollen lymph nodes
  • Coughing
  • Headaches
  • Body aches and pains
  • Rash

Diagnosing streptococcal infection

If you have symptoms of a streptococcal infection, your doctor will likely do a throat swab and run tests to confirm the cause of the infection. Additional tests may be done to assess the severity of the infection.

Treating streptococcal infection

Treatment for streptococcal infection depends on the type of infection and its severity. In most cases, treatment involves antibiotics. You may need to take oral antibiotics or get antibiotics intravenously (by injection). In some cases, hospitalization may be necessary.

Preventing streptococcal infections

The best way to prevent streptococcal infections is to practice good hygiene, which includes:

  • Washing your hands with soap and water often
  • Avoiding close contact with people who are ill
  • Avoiding sharing towels, utensils, or other items with someone who is ill
  • Cleaning and disinfecting surfaces regularly

If you have an underlying medical condition or weakened immune system, you may need to take additional steps to protect yourself from streptococcal infections.