Some Chicago-area doctors have seen an increase in cases of strep in recent weeks and months, but with the onset of winter, doctors warn that the symptoms may not always be obvious.

Dr. Neha Baggi, a pediatrician at John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital of Cook County, said she is among those seeing an increase in infections.

“The cases are getting worse,” she told NBC Chicago in an interview Tuesday.

Baggie said that while the typical season for strep may be in the winter months, there are other symptoms when children have sore throats, especially in warm weather.

“Typically in the winter you see more sore throats, you see more ear infections with strokes. In the summer you start to see more skin infections with strokes because you know, you’re exposed, outside, you’re underdressed, you can get a skin infection for a stroke,” Bhagi said.

The latest cases come just months after health officials issued warnings about a dangerous and deadly strain of strep throat on the rise in Illinois, which has led to several child deaths in the state.

“With the group A strep, strep throat epidemic spreading in many communities and schools, we are concerned about children,” said Dr. Artie Barnes, chief medical officer of the Illinois Department of Public Health. March.

of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention He also said at the time, “We are seeing an increase in invasive group A strep infections in children in the United States.” Such infections include things like necrotizing fasciitis and streptococcal toxic shock syndrome.

On March 10 According to IDPH Director Dr Sameer Vora. More cases of Group A strep throat, which can lead to serious complications, have been reported in 2023 “than in the last five years” and people are urged to watch out for early signs.

According to Vohra, these symptoms can include “sudden sore throat, pain when swallowing and fever.”

Beyond that, there are the common symptoms that many see with strep, and then there are the more common symptoms.

“[Strep is] It is very famous,” said Bhaggi. “So it can cause many signs and symptoms in your body. You may have an ear infection associated with strep; You may have strep throat; You can get a brain infection associated with strep – it can actually lead to meningitis, which is what we call a brain infection going down the drain. Strep can infect your skin, which is more common in the summer months than in the winter due to exposure. Strep can lead to a deep or very serious blood infection, which we call toxic shock syndrome. Finally, if left untreated, strep can damage your kidneys and heart.

Bhagi recommends that anyone with symptoms get tested.

Here’s what you need to know:

Common symptoms

Some of the most common symbols like Bhagi and the CDC, Include:

  • Fever
  • Pain when swallowing
  • Throat may appear red
  • Red and swollen tonsils
  • White patches or spots on the tonsils
  • Small red spots on the roof of the mouth are called petechiae
  • Swollen lymph nodes on the front of the neck

“If you have the typical strep symptoms of a fever — even a low grade, you know, 100.1 or 101 or 102, which is a high grade — you don’t have a lot of cough symptoms, but you know it. You get a lot of sore throat, itchiness, you feel like you’re having trouble swallowing, a Every time you drink or eat something it causes a sore throat…you should always get it checked out. So this is classic strep.

But strep can damage the skin.

“Group A strep bacteria are highly contagious. When group A strep bacteria infect the skin, they cause sores.” CDC states. “If a person touches wounds or comes into contact with the wound fluid, the bacteria can spread to others.”

After exposure, it can take up to 10 days for lesions to appear, experts say.

Symptoms of this type of infection include “red, itchy sores that open and ooze clear fluid or pus for a few days” and “a dry, yellow or ‘honey-colored’ scab.”

“If you feel like you’re developing a skin infection, you’re seeing a lot of yellowing, PC discharge, or blisters around your skin, especially on your face…or if you have an open wound that just broke. Or you fell somewhere and you have an open wound, and you’re seeing measles-like discharge, all the time. If so, it’s a good idea to wash him and send him to see if a strep infection is developing.

Less common symptoms

Some less common symptoms may include:

Symptoms not related to Strep

Symptoms you may not see with strep infections include:

  • Cough
  • Nasal discharge
  • Hoarseness (changes in your voice that make it sound breathy, irritated, or strained)
  • pink eye (conjunctivitis)

But that doesn’t mean you won’t see these in someone with Stroop’s.

“Usually you don’t have a lot of cough, you don’t usually have a lot of runny nose and congestion, but there are always unusual findings, you know, like any infection, there can always be an unusual presentation.”

1 symptom you may see with all strep infections

According to Baggi, one symptom is common to all strep infections.

“I think the thing with strep is that almost everyone gets a little bit of a fever, whether it’s a low-grade fever or a high-grade fever,” she said.

What can I do to protect my child?

To prevent group A strep infections, the CDC recommends you:

  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing.
  • Place the used tissue in the waste basket.
  • If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve or elbow, not your hands.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.

To prevent skin infections;

  • Cleaning and caring for wounds
  • Wash and wash your hands often
  • Take antibiotics if prescribed

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