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Strep infection: Group A Streptococcus, symptoms and prevention

Updated: Oct 2, 2023

If you have ever had a sore throat or other symptoms of a bacterial infection, you may have heard of the term “strep A” or “Streptococcus A”. Understanding its symptoms is crucial for early detection and effective treatment. In this article, we will look at the common symptoms associated with Group A Strep infections and explore the importance of rapid diagnosis using tools such as the Group A Strep Rapid Test.


The silent intruder: Streptococcus A infections

Streptococcus A, also known as Group A Streptococcus (GAS), is a bacterial strain that can cause various infections in humans. While many people carry these bacteria in their throat or on their skin without getting sick, others can develop infections that range from mild to severe. These infections can affect different body parts, including the throat, skin and even internal organs.


Recognising the most common symptoms

A strep infection can manifest itself in several ways, each with its own set of symptoms. It’s important to be aware of these symptoms as early detection can lead to prompt treatment and prevent the infection from getting worse. Some of the most common strep infections and related symptoms include:


1. Streptococcal throat (streptococcal pharyngitis)

Strep throat is probably the most common strep A infection. Symptoms often include:

  • Sore throat that comes on suddenly

  • Pain or difficulty swallowing

  • Red and swollen tonsils

  • White spots or streaks of pus on the tonsils

  • Fever

  • Headache

  • Fatigue

2. Skin infections

Strep A can also cause skin infections such as impetigo or cellulitis. Symptoms of these infections may include:

  • Redness and inflammation of the skin

  • Formation of blisters filled with clear or purulent fluid

  • Pain or tenderness around the affected area

  • Itching and irritation

  • Swollen lymph nodes

3. Invasive streptococcal infections

In some cases, strep A infections can become invasive and lead to more serious health problems. Invasive infections can include:

  • Streptococcal toxic shock syndrome: Symptoms include high fever, rapid drop in blood pressure, confusion, rash, and organ failure.

  • Necrotising fasciitis: Commonly called “flesh-eating disease”, this condition causes severe pain, redness, and swelling at the site of infection.


Timely diagnosis is key

The prompt detection of strep infections is essential in preventing possible complications and ensuring effective treatment. A quick diagnosis enables healthcare professionals to prescribe appropriate antibiotics and control the infection before it spreads or becomes severe.


Fortunately, advances in medical technology have led to convenient solutions for early detection. With the tests for personal use, people can get results within minutes, allowing them to seek medical attention if needed.


When to seek medical help

If you are experiencing symptoms that match those described above, it is important to consult a healthcare professional who can accurately diagnose the infection, recommend appropriate treatment, and monitor your progress. Remember that not all sore throats or skin problems are caused by strep A, so seeking professional advice ensures the right steps are taken.


Preventing the spread of the infection

Preventing the spread of strep A involves practicing good hygiene and taking precautions, especially if you are in close contact with individuals who may be more susceptible to infection, such as children or the elderly. Some preventative measures include:

  • Regularly washing your hands with water and soap

  • Covering your mouth and nose when sneezing and coughing

  • Avoiding close contact with sick people

  • Proper disposal of medical waste

Recognising the symptoms associated with strep A helps with early detection and timely treatment. Whether you have a sore throat, skin problems, or more severe symptoms, seeking medical attention is vital. The availability of personal tests such as the Strep A Rapid Test further empowers people to take responsibility for their health and get the care they need in a timely manner. Remember, if you suspect you have an infection, you can find out quickly with the Strep A Test! Be proactive when it comes to your health.

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