Experts, CDC seeing increase in strep throat cases this season

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(ABC 6 News) – As the “tripledemic” still looms large over hospital staff into 2023, another health concern is continuing to emerge: Strep throat.

Dr. Elizabeth Ojukwu, a Pediatrician at Mayo Clinic Health System in Albert Lea, said there has been an increase in symptomatic strep throat, or Strep A, this fall and winter compared to previous years.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said it is looking into the increase in Invasive Group A Strep Infections (iGAS) among children in the United States in 2022.

Dr. Ojukwu said strep throat is mainly spread among children, but children can also spread it to adults with close contact. She added strep throat comes after having a viral infection.

“We know coming out of COVID quarantine that we’ve had increased rates of colds spread amongst everyone in the population and that by itself can increase the chance of then developing strep throat afterwards,” Ojukwu said.

Ojukwu said timely treatment is the most important thing for preventing complications from strep throat.

The CDC is also reporting there is a national shortage of the liquid antibiotic Amoxicillin which is most often prescribed to children to treat Strep A.

Dr. Ojukwu said this shortage could result in people not being able to find the correct antibiotic or to be treated in a timely manner. That can lead to an increased chance of spreading from one person to another and more complications with strep throat.