Bengaluru: Cases of strep throat have been on the rise among children and doctors warn that leaving it untreated could lead to heart problems and rheumatic fever.
City doctors claim they encounter at least three-four children in a week with strep throat problems. Strep throat is a bacterial infection of the throat and tonsils, leading to a sore throat. It occurs when an immune system responds inappropriately to the bacteria that causes this condition. “Strep throat is an infection of the throat lining by bacteria called streptococcus. It usually manifests as high-grade fever, throat pain, chills with body pain and difficulty in swallowing with enlargement of the tonsils. It can mimic the common flu where we get similar symptoms,” said Dr Yogesh Gupta, Head of PICU and Paediatrician, Fortis Hospital, Bannerghatta Road.
He said that the treatment remains as the use of simple antibiotics like amoxicillin. “In few cases of strep throat, children can have severe though rare complication like an acute rheumatic fever which can affect a child's heart, joints, brain, and skin. Hence, early detection and treatment are always recommended,” said Dr. Gupta.
The disease is contagious and can spread when an infected person coughs or sneezes. The primary symptom is a sore throat and the manifestations include fever, headache, swollen tonsils, nausea, and rashes.
Dr Prashanth R. Reddy, Senior Consultant, ENT & Endoscopic Surgeon, BGS Gleneagles Global Hospital also said that there's a common myth that tonsils are very important for good health in spite of it being a source of infection.
“If the child has missed school for more than 3 days per year due to recurring throat pain with fever, it's advised to get a tonsillectomy done. This will reduce the infection and will also help the child to get better growth and prevent the development of RHD. The infected tonsils are one of the causes for growth retardation and high risk for RHD,” he said.
According to the Indian Journal of Medical Research, around 50 per 100000 people have a global prevalence of rheumatic fever. This is an inflammatory disorder that can affect a child's heart, joints, brain, and skin....