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Streptococcal disease

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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Strep throat testing - Lab Tests Online AU

Why and when to get tested for strep throat

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Streptococcal sore throat

Streptococcal sore throat is a bacterial infection of the throat and tonsils caused by Streptococcus pyogenes.

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Pneumococcal disease

Pneumococcal disease Streptococcus pneumoniae infections in people with diabetes are associated with increased mortality and morbidity

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Pneumococcal disease

Pneumococcal infections are caused by the streptococcus pneumoniae bacterium and is the leading cause of serious illness and death in children under 2 and adults over 85 in Australia.

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Immunise - Pneumococcal disease

Pneumococcal disease Page last updated: 20 April 2015 Pneumococcal disease disease refers to a wide range of infections is caused by the bacterium Streptococcus pneumonia/pneumonia

Read more on Department of Health website

Rheumatic Fever & Rheumatic Heart Disease | myVMC

Rheumatic fever is an inflammatory disease which may develop after an infection with streptococcus bacteria (such as strep throat or scarlet fever) and can involve the heart (especially the valves), joints, skin, and brain

Read more on myVMC – Virtual Medical Centre website

Group B streptococcus and pregnancy -

Group B streptococcus (group B strep) is a common bacterium that is found in the body. It is usually harmless in adults. Sometimes, however, a woman who has group B strep can infect her baby during delivery.

Read more on myDr website

Streptococcal infection - group A - Better Health Channel

Streptococcal infection ? group A can cause sore throats (pharyngitis), scarlet fever or impetigo (school sores).

Read more on Better Health Channel website

Pregnancy - Pregnancy Topics - Group B Streptococcus

About 15% of women have a type of bacteria called Group B Streptococcus, or GBS, as part of these normal vaginal bacteria.

Read more on Women's and Children's Health Network website

Maternal sepsis (Puerperal fever) due to Group A Streptococcus Infor

Maternal sepsis (Puerperal fever) due to Group A Streptococcus Information for clinicians Factsheet

Read more on NSW Health website

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