I can’t be confident that April will mark the end of this strep throat season.Epidemiologist, Caitlin Rivers, Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, as an amoxicillin shortage has impacted an already intense strep season.
What To Know: Strep throat is a contagious bacterial infection that usually leads to symptoms including a fever and sore throat. Though it can impact adults, it's most commonly seen in children. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) "doesn't closely track run-of-the-mill strep infections" so there is no hard data for exactly how many cases exist in the U.S., NPR reports. However, Rivers says strep activity has been higher in recent months opposed to previous years.
The CDC says cases of invasive group A strep – severe infections that spread to other parts of the body and can be life-threatening – are higher this season (2022-2023), compared to a decreased number of cases seen in 2020 and 2021. Based on preliminary data, the CDC also notes that less severe cases of strep in children "have returned to levels similar to or higher than those seen in pre-pandemic years."
Important To Note: Due to high demand, a current shortage of pediatric amoxicillin – an easily-swallowable liquid which the CDC notes is "most often prescribed to children" to treat strep – has impacted this more intense season. Meanwhile, some experts note "there are alternative treatments, such as penicillin, that can be administered in pediatric doses" (The Washington Post). What are you seeing in your community?
After a pandemic lull, strep cases are bad again. Here's what to know. (The Washington Post)
by Jenna Lee,