Strep throat cases double, according to health experts

Strep throat
Strep throat(MGN)
Published: Apr. 11, 2023 at 4:10 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WIFR) - More children are testing positive for strep throat than ever, and according to health experts, there is strong evidence for why we’re seeing a rise in cases.

“We do know that strep basically went away during COVID isolation and quarantine,” says Gregory DeMuri. “The number of strep infections just dropped, almost to nothing from 2020 through early 2022.”

DeMuri is a professor of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. He says that since October 2022, the number of cases has more than doubled what experts saw in their worst year over the last two decades.

“We think when people got back together, particularly when school children got back together, and masking was dropped, that allowed for strep to propagate through the community.”

While adults are susceptible to strep throat, DeMuri says they are less likely to see complications like acute rheumatic fever―swelling and inflammation that occurs usually two to four weeks after the initial infection.

He also mentions a newly aggressive strain of strep throat as a theory for the increase in cases,

DeMuri recommends avoiding shared drinks and eating utensils to limit the risk of contracting strep throat. He also encourages masking for added protection. And if a child shows symptoms of a sore throat, fever, body aches, chills or headaches, they should be seen by a doctor and tested for strep.

As of today, the number of strep cases is on a slight downslope, but experts do not know if the streak will hold, and if so, for how long.