February 7, 2016
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Streptococcal Infections (cont.)

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What are the symptoms and signs of GAS infections?

GAS infections can produce many different signs and symptoms:

  • Pharyngitis (strep throat/tonsillitis): sore throat, irritation with swallowing, white patches on tonsils (exudates), swollen lymph nodes on the neck, fever; pharyngitis with fever and white patches on tonsils are important but not definitive signs of GAS pharyngitis.
  • Scarlet fever: pharyngitis symptoms (see above), pastia (pink or red lines formed of confluent petechiae, which are small purple or red spots in the skin caused by minor blood vessel breaks) that are found in skin creases, especially the flexor surface of the elbow), fever, rash on neck and chest, then entire body with sandpaper texture, muscle aches, abdominal pain, swollen red tongue (strawberry tongue)
  • Rheumatic fever: inflammation of the joints, heart valve damage
  • Glomerulonephritis: inflammation of the kidneys, impaired kidney function
  • Necrotizing fasciitis: tissue destruction that progresses rapidly
  • Toxic shock syndrome: rapidly progressing organ failure with low blood pressure

Most of the diseases listed here for GAS infection usually occur after an initial pharyngitis, with necrotizing fasciitis and toxic shock sometimes occurring without a detectable initial pharyngitis infection. Other disease processes involving GAS organisms (for example, meningitis, bone infections, pneumonia, wound infections, and others) produce the typical symptoms associated with these disease processes and clinically are not unique for GAS or other pathogenic organisms.

Picture of a Streptococcus pyogenes (Strep throat) infection
Figure 2: Picture of a Streptococcus pyogenes (Strep throat) infection. SOURCE: CDC/Dr. Heinz F. Eichenwald
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 10/16/2014

Source: MedicineNet.com

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