Children’s streptococcal infections rise

Children’s streptococcal infections rise

Medical experts are expressing concern over indications that there has been an upsurge of streptococcal infections in children. The disease may not be systematically recorded in Greece, but pediatricians estimate that they have seen more cases this year compared to the pre-pandemic period.

“The incidents of streptococcal pharyngitis usually peak in the winter months and early spring. However, our feeling from the visits we receive from young patients is that for the last few months we have been seeing cases at a higher frequency than in the pre-Covid-19 period,” said the president of the Panhellenic Federation of Self-Employed Pediatricians, Konstantinos Daloukas.

Most cases, he said, are “simple pharyngitis, and we are also seeing cases of scarlet fever this season.” Group A streptococcus is the most common cause of bacterial pharyngitis in children. In rare cases, the disease can develop into Invasive Group A Streptococci, or iGAS – i.e. the microbe can enter the bloodstream and cause life-threatening damage.

In Greece, since the beginning of the year and due to the pan-European alert on the disease, three deaths of children aged between 19 months and 6 years due to severe streptococcal infection have been reported to the National Public Health Organization (EODY).

Pediatricians reassure that these infections are easily detectable and treatable, and are urging parents to contact their pediatrician when their child develops a fever and sore throat in order to administer antimicrobial therapy in a timely manner. 


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