Streptococcus A streptococcus in children: How to detect symptoms and make the correct diagnosis

Streptococcus A streptococcus in children: How to detect symptoms and make the correct diagnosis

Dozens of children have died in France, the United Kingdom and Spain after invasive infections with this bacterium. How do you explain such an increase in pollution and above all how do you treat yourself in time?

At least six children have died in the UK, two in France and two in Spain: Invasive streptococcal A infections have been on the rise for a few weeks.

So much so that health authorities have taken some measures and launched investigations to understand this potentially disturbing phenomenon.

On Monday 5 December 2023, the Director-General of Health, Jerome Salomon via Corus (Operational Center for Organization and Response to Health and Social Emergencies) issued an Urgent Notice addressed to health professionals.

Symptoms caused by Strep A infection.

Streptococcus A is a bacterium primarily responsible for tonsillitis In both children and adults. The symptoms are classic: fFever, sore throat, and difficulty swallowing.

Streptococcus A is also responsible for scarlet fever It is angina pectoris rash And theimpetigo (skin infection).

When a child shows these symptoms, it is necessary to consult a doctor so that he knows if they correspond to a viral infection, so in these cases it is not related to streptococcus or if it is related to a bacterial infection and at that time it must be treated with antibiotics.

severe form

If a child (or adult) isn’t treated, a streptococcal A infection can become invasive, which means “it gets into the blood and can cause sepsis,” notes Brigitte Ferry, MD, president of the National Federation of Pediatricians.

This serious form can be easily avoided with antibiotic treatment.

Primary diagnosis

It is up to the doctor to make the diagnosis. Moreover, the Director General of Health rightly urged professionals to remain alert to these infections and especially to the multiplication of cases.

As a pediatrician, We are always very vigilantbut with the official communication we will be more than that “, specifies the pediatrician in Montpellier.

Therefore, it is necessary in the event of symptoms of angina pectoris that doctors do what they call a “streptotest”.

“this throat swabTesting can be done in the office – or even in a pharmacy – and is allowed Distinguish between viral and bacterial infection“, specifies pediatrician Brigitte Ferry.

Before adding: “It is important to do this, it is provided by the health insurance to regulate the intake of essential antibiotics, especially with amoxicillin deficiency.”


In the face of streptococcus A, all you need is treatment with antibiotics such asamoxicillin; or the penicillin.

Not a more ferocious strain than usual

Even if there isn’t much hindsight about this invasive infection at the moment, the DG-General’s health press release explains: “The interim results of the epidemiological investigations carried out by the French Public Health Service and the characterization of strains by the National Center for Streptococcus checklist refer to that these cases are unrelated and that these reports are probably not due to the emergence of a more virulent strain but rather an unusual increase in the number of cases associated with the different strains.”

So it wouldn’t be a more dangerous strain, but rather the proliferation of classic streptococcal infections which logically leads to an increase in invasive streptococcal infections.

Why this doubling in cases?

One explanation offered by the President of the National Federation of Pediatricians is that this proliferation of infection, with streptococci as with other infectious diseases in children, comes from the barrier gestures that have been implemented in recent years and their current relaxation.

Basically, we didn’t produce enough antibodies last year, so there is an increase in infections this year. Which still leads to the production of immunity …

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