Streptococcal Infections

Also called: Strep

Strep is short for Streptococcus, a type of bacteria. There are two types: group A and group B.

Group A strep causes

  • Strep throat - a sore, red throat, sometimes with white spots on the tonsils
  • Scarlet fever - an illness that follows strep throat. It causes a red rash on the body.
  • Impetigo - a skin infection
  • Toxic shock syndrome
  • Cellulitis and necrotizing fasciitis (flesh-eating disease)

Group B strep can cause blood infections, pneumonia and meningitis in newborns. A screening test during pregnancy can tell if you have it. If you do, I.V. antibiotics during labor can save your baby's life. Adults can also get group B strep infections, especially if they are elderly or already have health problems. Strep B can cause urinary tract infections, blood infections, skin infections and pneumonia in adults.

Antibiotics are used to treat strep infections.

NIH: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

Symptoms of Streptococcal Infections

The following features are indicative of Streptococcal Infections:
  • itching
  • blisters
  • ulcers
  • pain
  • patches
  • rash
  • swollen lymph nodes
  • yellowish crusts
  • fever
  • pain or tenderness in the affected area
  • skin redness or inflammation that gets bigger with the spread of infection
  • skin sore or rash that starts suddenly, and grows quickly in the first 24 hours
  • tight, glossy, or stretched appearance of the skin
  • warm skin in the area of redness
  • joint stiffness from swelling of the tissue over the joint
  • hair loss at the injection site
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • rapid breathing
  • breathing difficulties
  • general malaise
  • loss of appetite
  • abdominal pain
  • headache
  • chest pain
  • cough
  • blue colouration of the skin around the mouth
It is possible that Streptococcal Infections shows no physical symptoms and still is present in a patient.

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Common Causes of Streptococcal Infections

The following are the most common causes of Streptococcal Infections:
  • Staphylococcus or Streptococcus bacteria
  • methicillin-resistant staph aureus
  • viral infections
  • fungal infections

Other Causes of Streptococcal Infections

The following are the less common causes of Streptococcal Infections:
  • cracks or peeling skin between the toes
  • history of peripheral vascular disease
  • injury or trauma with a break in the skin
  • insect bites and stings
  • animal bites
  • human bites
  • ulcers from certain diseases
  • use of corticosteroid medications or medications that suppress the immune system
  • wound from a recent surgery

Risk Factors for Streptococcal Infections

The following factors may increase the likelihood of Streptococcal Infections:
  • living in crowded areas, warm or humid climate
  • broken skin
  • smoking
  • being hospitalized
  • suffering from chronic disease
  • weakened or suppressed immune system

Prevention of Streptococcal Infections

Yes, it may be possible to prevent Streptococcal Infections. Prevention may be possible by doing the following:
  • do not share personal care products
  • avoid touching blisters
  • using antimicrobial soap
  • washing cuts and scrapes
  • maintaining hygiene
  • washing hands daily with soap and water
  • applying a protective ointment or cream on wounds
  • covering wounds with a bandage
  • inspecting feet daily if you are suffering with diabetes
  • moisturising the skin regularly
  • carefully trim fingernails and toenails in case of diabetes
  • wear footwear and gloves to protect hands and feet from any injury
  • get vaccinated against the pneumonia
  • avoid smoking
  • do exercise regularly and eat a healthy diet

Occurrence of Streptococcal Infections

Number of Cases

The following are the number of Streptococcal Infections cases seen each year worldwide:
  • Very common > 10 Million cases

Common Age Group

Streptococcal Infections can occur at any age.

Common Gender

Streptococcal Infections can occur in any gender.

Lab Tests and Procedures for Diagnosis of Streptococcal Infections

The following lab tests and procedures are used to detect Streptococcal Infections:
  • Lab bacterial skin sample test: To determine if methicillin-resistant staph aureus is the cause
  • Physical examination: To check redness, swelling, abscess or other skin problems
  • Blood culture test: To check for bacteria in the blood
  • Complete blood count: To count total number of blood cells
  • Biopsy: To diagnose skin diseases or infections
  • Chest X-ray: To diagnose pneumonia and determine the extent and location of the infection
  • Pulse oximetry: To measure the oxygen level in your blood
  • Sputum test: To evaluate the cause of the infection
  • Computed tomography scan: To view the detailed image of your lungs
  • Pleural fluid culture: To detect the type of infection

Doctor for Diagnosis of Streptococcal Infections

Patients should visit the following specialists if they have symptoms of Streptococcal Infections:
  • Dermatologist
  • Pediatrician
  • General Practitioner
  • Pulmonologist

Complications of Streptococcal Infections if untreated

Yes, Streptococcal Infections causes complications if it is not treated. Below is the list of complications and problems that may arise if Streptococcal Infections is left untreated:
  • spreading of infection to other body parts
  • kidney inflammation or failure
  • permanent skin damage
  • scarring
  • blood infection
  • bone infection
  • inflammation of the lymph vessels
  • inflammation of the heart
  • meningitis
  • tissue death
  • bacteremia
  • septic shock
  • lung abscesses
  • pleural effusions
  • empyema
  • pleurisy
  • respiratory failure

Procedures for Treatment of Streptococcal Infections

The following procedures are used to treat Streptococcal Infections:
  • Oxygen therapy: Raises the level of oxygen in bloodstream

Medicines for Streptococcal Infections

Below is the list of medicines used for Streptococcal Infections:

Self-care for Streptococcal Infections

The following self-care actions or lifestyle changes may help in the treatment or management of Streptococcal Infections:
  • Maintain skin hygiene: Use antimicrobial soap and keep skin clean and hygienic
  • Use personal care products: Do not share personal care products with infected person
  • Maintain hand cleanliness: Wash hands thoroughly
  • Stay hydrated: To help loosen mucus in your lungs
  • Get plenty of rest: Makes you feel better
  • Take your medicine as prescribed: Helps you in recovering the infections more quickly

Patient Support for Treatment of Streptococcal Infections

The following actions may help Streptococcal Infections patients:
  • Join supporting research groups: Provides medical knowledge and care about the disease

Time for Treatment of Streptococcal Infections

While time-period of treatment for each patient may vary, below is the typical time-period for Streptococcal Infections to resolve if treated properly under an expert supervision:
  • In 1 - 4 weeks

Is Streptococcal Infections Infectious?

Yes, Streptococcal Infections is known to be infectious. It can spread across people via the following means:
  • contact with infected person
  • contact with infected clothing, bed linen, towel and toys
  • air-borne droplets

Last updated date

This page was last updated on 2/04/2019.
This page provides information for Streptococcal Infections.
Pneumococcal Infections

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