The Argentine health authorities have been monitoring it since 2018, but it was in the last few days that it was reported an increase of 281% over previous years in relation to confirmed cases of invasive infection by ‘Streptococcus pyogenes’.

As explained by the Ministry of Health of the Nation on its official website, it is a “Gram-positive” bacterium and is the bacterial cause. most frequent acute pharyngitis and skin infections such as impetigo, cellulitis and scarlet fever.

So far this year, a total of 118 confirmed cases have been reported throughout the country, and already 16 people died. They also detailed that the provinces with the highest number of cases in 2023 are Buenos Aires (35), Santa Fe (20), Chubut (10) and Tierra del Fuego (10).

How does the transmission of this bacterium occur and what are the symptoms?

Official information reveals that the transmission of this bacterium occurs by close contact with an infected person. Also, it can be transmitted through coughing, sneezing, or contact with an open wound.

It is also important to know that the incubation period for the disease varies according to the presentation of the clinical picture, but ranges from one to three days. And it is estimated that the treatment for people infected with antibiotics, remove the ability it has to propagate during the first 24 hours.

In the midst of the concern for this bacterium about which much is unknown, there is a very relevant piece of information and it has to do with the way in which it is diagnosed, and it is through bacterial cultures, while its treatment must be with antibiotics.

The initial symptoms of pharyngitis are: sore throat, fever; headaches, abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting, redness of the pharynx and tonsils, bad breath and enlarged glands in the neck.

For her part, the scarlet fever causes the following symptoms: red and sore throat, fever above 38 degrees, red sandpaper-like rash, deep red skin in the armpit, elbow and groin folds, whitish coating over the tongue or throat back of throat; “raspberry” tongue; headache; nausea or vomiting; swollen glands and body aches, they said.

Streptococcus, the bacterium that increases confirmed cases in Argentina
Streptococcus, the bacterium that increases confirmed cases in Argentina

The recommendations of the Ministry of Health of the Nation

Among the recommendations of the Ministry of Health of the Nationprioritize that in the presence of some of these symptoms, it is necessary to avoid self-medication at all costs with antibiotics and make an immediate medical consultation.

They also warn that if antibiotic treatment is started for medical indications, the scheme will have to be terminated, because its misuse can promote the “bacterial resistance”.

On the other hand, those people who are diagnosed or present symptoms should avoid going to public places, as well as restrict close contacts.

As happened in the days of COVID-19, frequent hand washing, personal care, as well as ventilating the environments are recommended.

The facts you need to know about Streptococcus pyogenes

Another important fact that the health authorities have highlighted is that the Streptococcus pyogenesalso known as group A Streptococcus, and is commonly the bacterium that causes mild illnesses such as tonsillitis, pharyngitis, impetigo, cellulitis, and scarlet fever.

Although the figures could alert, on few occasions the infection coincides with the invasive disease that can cause even fatal conditions. According to the data: around the world about 500,000 deaths are reported per year.

In the years 2019 and 2022 the highest case numbers occurred, closing last year with 75 reported. While, by December 8, 2022, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported that France, Ireland, the Netherlands, Sweden, and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland had reported an increase in the number of cases of invasive group A strep disease.

The same thing happened days later with the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), which issued a statement reporting an increase in cases in Uruguay.

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