Streptococcus pyogenes (group A strep) and surge of infections

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In summary, there has been a rise in cases of invasive strep A, a rare form of the common bacteria, in the United States and Europe. This has been linked to symptoms including skin rashes, fever, a racing heart, and unexplained swelling. Several deaths have been reported, including in children. It is believed that the end of coronavirus-era social distancing and masking may have contributed to the surge in cases, as well as a possible decrease in immune responses due to lack of exposure during the pandemic. The rise in invasive strep A is part of a larger trend of unusual ways pathogens are interacting with humans and each other. In the United States, states such as Minnesota and Colorado have reported increases in cases, particularly in children.
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Astronuc
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Infection with Streptococcus pyogenes - or group A strep, for short - typically produces mild symptoms, such as rash, fever or swollen tonsils leading to the eponymous strep throat. But in recent months, cases related to a rare invasive form of the common bacteria have been popping up across the United States, as well as Europe, often in connection with sometimes confusing symptoms, including skin rashes, fever, a racing heart and unexplained swelling.

The first confirmed pediatric deaths in this country, in two young children in the Denver area, were reported last week. At least 16 children have died of it in the United Kingdom, seven in the Netherlands and two in France.

The rise of invasive strep A is one of a number of unusual ways pathogens have been interacting with us - and each other - amid the end of coronavirus-era social distancing and masking this year.
https://www.yahoo.com/news/first-came-viral-storm-now-115132502.html

Is the current surge (epidemic?) of infections a result of lack of exposure during the pandemic, and hence a lessening of folks' immune responses, or is this variant more lethal, or perhaps a combination?

Minnesota health officials said they had seen 46 cases of invasive strep A in all ages in November, more than double the average 20 cases in previous months. Colorado reported that it was investigating not only a rise in invasive strep A cases, but also a possible increase in other severe or invasive bacterial infections in children.

Texas Children's Hospital said it has seen more than 60 patients with invasive strep A in October and November - a fourfold increase from the same period the previous year. . . .
 
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Astronuc said:
https://www.yahoo.com/news/first-came-viral-storm-now-115132502.html

Is the current surge (epidemic?) of infections a result of lack of exposure during the pandemic, and hence a lessening of folks' immune responses, or is this variant more lethal, or perhaps a combination?
I posted on TIL on 7.12.22 as there was a spike in deaths

A quick today reports on Strep and rise in scarlet fever cases too

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/ukhsa-update-on-scarlet-fever-and-invasive-group-a-strep-1
 

Related to Streptococcus pyogenes (group A strep) and surge of infections

1. What is Streptococcus pyogenes (group A strep)?

Streptococcus pyogenes, also known as group A strep, is a type of bacteria that can cause a variety of infections in humans. It is commonly found in the throat and on the skin, and can cause illnesses ranging from mild, such as strep throat, to more serious, such as sepsis or toxic shock syndrome.

2. What is causing the surge of group A strep infections?

The surge of group A strep infections is likely due to a combination of factors, including changes in the bacteria itself, such as the emergence of new strains, and changes in human behavior, such as increased antibiotic use and decreased vaccination rates. Additionally, crowded living conditions and poor hygiene can also contribute to the spread of the bacteria.

3. How is group A strep transmitted?

Group A strep is primarily transmitted through respiratory droplets, such as when an infected person coughs or sneezes. It can also be spread through contact with infected skin or by touching surfaces contaminated with the bacteria. It is important to practice good hygiene, such as washing your hands regularly, to help prevent the spread of group A strep.

4. What are the symptoms of a group A strep infection?

The symptoms of a group A strep infection can vary depending on the type of infection. Common symptoms include sore throat, fever, and swollen lymph nodes. More serious infections, such as necrotizing fasciitis (flesh-eating disease) or streptococcal toxic shock syndrome, may cause severe pain, fever, and tissue damage. It is important to seek medical attention if you experience any symptoms of a group A strep infection.

5. How can group A strep infections be treated?

Group A strep infections are typically treated with antibiotics. The specific type of antibiotic prescribed will depend on the type and severity of the infection. It is important to finish the entire course of antibiotics, even if you start feeling better, to ensure that the infection is fully treated. In some cases, surgery may also be necessary to remove infected tissue or drain abscesses.

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