FairFax County Strep Throat Illnesses
FairFax County Strep Throat Illnesses, and what you should know…
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Strep throat is currently spreading in the Fairfax Health District. Data from emergency departments and urgent care centers in the community have shown an increase in the number of people diagnosed with strep throat since late January 2023. For the week of March 5-11, there were more visits to ED and urgent care facilities for strep throat than at any time in the past three years (since December 2019).
Strep throat is an infection in the throat and tonsils caused by bacteria called group A Streptococcus (group A strep). It is contagious and spread to others by direct contact (such as sharing silverware or kissing) and by respiratory droplets (sneezes or coughs).
According to the Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention (CDC), strep throat is more common in children agesfive5 years and older than in children agesthree3 years and younger, and up to 3 in 10 children with a sore throat have strep throat, while that figure for adults is 1 in 10. Crowded or closed settings increase the risk of strep throat, including schools, childcare, or other places where people gather. There is no vaccine for strep throat, and someone can get it again even if they have been sick with strep throat in the past.
Common symptoms may include:
- Sore throat that may begin suddenly and may appear red
- Pain when swallowing
- Red and swollen tonsils
- White patches or streaks on the tonsils
- Tiny, red spots on the roof of the mouth (petechiae)
- Swollen lymph nodes in the front of the neck