Dr. Sammy Saad, a physician in the Children’s Emergency Department, confirmed today what I have been hearing on the street. For the past two weeks, strep throat has been spreading rampantly throughout our community. Dr. Saad confirmed that we are now seeing an average of six children each day who are diagnosed with strep in our Children’s Emergency Department.
Strep throat is being seen most often in school age children and is diagnosed using a rapid strep test. Interestingly, children younger than three years old do not typically contract strep because it does not colonize in their throats.
Classic strep throat symptoms include fever, sore throat, headache, and sometimes abdominal pain or rash. Less common symptoms include difficulty swallowing, cough, and possible congestion.
If your child has these symptoms, take them to the pediatrician. A course of antibiotics cures strep throat. Untreated, strep throat can cause kidney complications or rheumatic fever.
Strep throat is highly contagious, so children should not return to school until after they have been treated with antibiotics for at least 24 hours.