Doctors see rise in strep A cases

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by JANET ST. JAMES

WFAA

Posted on April 29, 2010 at 11:11 AM

Updated Thursday, Apr 29 at 12:22 PM

North Texas doctors say they're seeing an increase in the number of strep A cases this year in both kids and adults.

The bug can turn into pneumonia or other more serious conditions.

"Strep that's left out of control in children can get into the bloodstream and land on our heart valves," said Dr. Donna Casey.

Strep is highly contagious but you can give it to yourself.

"Strep can live on a surface or on your fingertips, so if you have something on your hand from touching something and if you touch yourself, which people are doing often now due to allergies, you are infecting yourself," said Casey.

The most common symptoms of strep throat are a sudden, severe sore throat, pain when you swallow, fever, swollen tonsils and lymph nodes, as well as white or yellow spots on the back of a bright red throat.

Strep can be passed through the air when a person with the bacteria breathes, coughs or sneezes.

You can also get it simply by touching hands.

If you come into contact with strep, it will take a few days before you see those symptoms.

E-mail:jstjames@wfaa.com

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