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Streptococcal disease

1-minute read

Streptococcal disease is caused by bacteria from the streptococcus ('strep') group of bacteria.

It's a common infection which typically causes minor problems that are treated with antibiotics. Examples of these include infections of the:

  • throat, including tonsilitis
  • skin, including impetigo (a skin infection most common in children, typically with red sores and a yellow crust) and cellulitis (typically red, hot, swollen skin)
  • ear, often causing earache, fever, and hearing loss
  • sinuses (facial cavities).

Streptococcus can also cause scarlet fever, a childhood illness that causes a distinctive pink-red rash.

It is rare for streptococcus to invade the body more deeply. However, when it does, streptococcus can cause:

  • pneumonia
  • sepsis (a serious infection of the blood)
  • meningitis
  • toxic shock syndrome (toxins released into the blood causing fever, nausea and vomiting)
  • a serious infection of the deeper layers of the skin causing severe pain and swelling.

Follow the links below to find trusted information about streptococcal disease.

Last reviewed: April 2017

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