The group A streptococcal infections are linked to various conditions. The most common infection triggered by the group A streptococci is strep throat which is common among school-aged children and teenagers.
The organisms are also accountable for skin infections including cellulitis and impetigo. These infections spread if a child is directly exposed to the lesions on the skin or secretions released by the nose or throat of a sick individual.
Once group A streptococcal infection develop among children younger than the age of 3, the indications are minor compared to the older children. Infants with the infection might have low fever and dense nasal discharge. As for toddlers, they end up with fever, irritability, diminished appetite and even swollen glands in the neck.
If a child is older than 3 years old, he/she might have a serious streptococcal-related symptom such as a painful or red sore throat, high fever, swollen glands in the neck and white patches of pus in the tonsils. It is important to note that an infected child becomes sick in 2-5 days after being exposed to the bacteria.
What can you do?
There are home remedies such as gargling with warm salt water that can alleviate some of the discomfort in the throat of the child. Pain medications such as acetaminophen can reduce the temperature and lessen the pain.
When to consult a doctor?
If a child has sore throat, particularly one with pus on the tonsils or swollen glands, a doctor must be consulted.
The main treatment for group A streptococcal infections includes penicillin in oral form or as a shot. In some cases, alternatives can be used such as ampicillin, amoxicillin or oral cephalosporin.
Once antibiotics are given to manage group A streptococcal infections, the child should fully recover. Nevertheless, if the throat infection is left untreated, it can spread to other body parts.
The child might develop a sinus or ear infection. In some cases, it can lead to the development of rheumatic fever which is a rare condition that affects the joints and the heart.