Streptococcus pyogenes in the city: you need to be more careful than worried

“While it is true that, right now, we do not have an aggressive increase in cases that would be considered serious enough to concern the community, the truth is that we must remain cautious.”

Dr. Antonio Sica, director of health programs of the Municipality of Bahía Blanca, said this in relation to the presence of Streptococcus pyogenes, a bacteria that can cause various and complex pathologies, especially in children under 18 years of age.

The most common is pharyngitis, but there are also some skin infections, such as cellulitis and some diseases that are characterized by spreading, such as scarlet fever.
“An increase in the registration of scarlet fever cases has been detected,” he said.

“The numbers are something to deal with. Due to the increase in cases of streptococcus infection, which is a historical germ and not a recent one, all pediatricians remain alert as they are already aware of it.

In this sense, it is important to reinforce information to health teams, as well as to keep them informed of the final increase in figures to act accordingly,” he said.

The official said all health units in Bahía Blanca have a computer system for medical records.

“When a person is treated, the professional uploads all the data. And from the epidemiological field, these diagnoses are monitored and those that require mandatory reporting to national systems are sent (to the NDR: Malbran Institute and the Ministry of Health) and then analyzed,” he explained.

Dr. Antonio Sica, Director of the Bahía Blanca Health Program.

“When a higher number of cases are detected, reports are requested and investigated in more detail. On this occasion, scarlet fever cases are increasing in the city,” he said.

“This October and this November, cases continued to rise, although the trend was not as pronounced as the peak in mid-July-September,” he said.

“If it’s a seasonal issue? Strep infections and other germs always have a curve; Especially the viral ones. But now they prevail in winter and summer seasons,” he said.

Regarding the reasons, Dr. Sika said that there are still no details on this matter.

“Some mutations of Streptococcus may play a role, making it a little more virulent, but the truth is that the cause is not always found, moreover, it is usually not just one.

“Cases continued to rise in October and November, but the trend is not as pronounced as the peak in mid-July-September.”

The professional indicated that this disease does not exclude the elderly.

“It affects everyone from children to adults, although it is true that there are record high numbers of cases in people under 18, especially those aged 2 to 14,” he said.

He also said that, if a positive case is found, he or she is given antibiotics for 10 days and in most of the cases, the condition resolves.

Important: Not for self-medication

“Why is self-medication not important? One reason for this is that, in children under 2 years of age, it is common for upper tract infections to be due to viral causes,” Dr. Sika assured this medium.

He indicated, “That is why the recommendation is that, when suspicious symptoms appear, consultation should be done and this important point appears here.”

The professional noted that uncontrolled medication, especially the use of antibiotics not prescribed by a professional, increases the likelihood of germ resistance.

“When a bacteria appears, the disease is resolved with X antibiotic; On the other hand, due to indiscriminate and inappropriate use, resistance arises and the same antibiotic is no longer a solution,” the official said.


-Scarlet fever is a disease caused by group A streptococcus bacteria.

—It is spread by contact with the secretions of infected people, through droplets spread when coughing or sneezing, and by surfaces or objects contaminated with these secretions. These symptoms usually appear between one and three days after infection.

-It is advisable to consult a doctor if fever appears accompanied by the following symptoms: sore throat and local pain with redness and/or small blisters in the skin.

-Although there is no specific vaccine to prevent it, it is important to be up to date on calendar vaccines to avoid other diseases that this bacterial invasion promotes.

—To prevent scarlet fever and other respiratory diseases, frequent hand washing with soap and water is recommended; Cover your mouth and nose with a disposable tissue or the inside of your elbow when you cough or sneeze; Throw disposable tissues in the dustbin immediately after use and ventilate rooms and allow sunlight to enter homes and other closed environments.

Also keep door handles and commonly used items clean; Avoid sharing food, drinks, cutlery or glasses; Stay home and rest until symptoms resolve; Drink plenty of fluids; Clean touched surfaces and objects with water and detergent or alcohol and do not visit closed spaces in the presence of symptoms of respiratory infection or other diseases transmitted by aerosol or contact.

—Pharyngitis and/or scarlet fever are treated with rest and isolation until clinical improvement 48 hours after starting antibiotic treatment; soft diet; Adequate hydration; Antipyretic, analgesic and anti-inflammatory: ibuprofen or paracetamol, as needed and antibiotic treatment with penicillin orally every 12 hours for 10 days.

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