CARROLLTON - The paperwork is piling up for Dr. Richard Hanaker. His family practice is seeing so many strep throat cases, he thought maybe the testing process was inaccurate.
"We were concerned enough about it, saying,'Maybe our test kit is giving us what we call false positives,'" Hanaker said.
So he tested healthy staff members to be sure.
Turns out, the tests were right. His office is seeing triple the number of cases of strep throat this year.
"In addition to having more strep cases total, it has been very striking that we're seeing far more than we ever see in the over-40 group," Hanaker said. "I would say that's four or five times more."
Older people - not kids - with strep. And that's unusual because by 40, Hanaker says the immune system is stronger and many people don't have their tonsils anymore.
The average office phone has 25,000 germs per square inch. A cough can carry germs from three feet away, and a sneeze as far as four feet and strep is contagious.
"So let's say someone has strep, and they have allergies, too, and they're coughing and sneezing from that," Hanaker said. "Well they're just going to sneeze the strep all over you."
The symptoms of strep include a high fever, a sore throat and swollen lymph nodes. Seek medical attention if that is the case.