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Bad strep throat? It's probably not strep, most likely viral
Date:9/10/2012

AT A GLANCE

  • Most throat infections are not caused by Group A streptococcus, or "strep," but by viruses, and therefore don't need antibiotics, according to new guidelines released by the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA).
  • For confirmed strep infections, penicillin or amoxicillin are the antibiotic of choice, except for those who are allergic.
  • Children who suffer from strep throat and have recurrent throat infections should not have their tonsils surgically removed for that reason alone.
  • 15 million people see the doctor every year complaining of sore throat, but fewer than a third have strep throat.

[September 10, 2012: ARLINGTON, Va.] Although people often say they have "strep" throat, most sore throats actually are caused by a virus, not streptococcus bacteria, and shouldn't be treated with antibiotics, suggest guidelines (http://cid.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2012/09/06/cid.cis629.full) published by the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA). Antibiotics are ineffective against viruses.

The IDSA's newly revised guidelines for Group A streptococcal pharyngitis strep throat also advise that when a strep infection is confirmed by testing, it should be treated with penicillin or amoxicillin if the patient does not have an allergy and not azithromycin or a cephalosporin. Further, the guidelines recommend that children who suffer from recurrent strep throat should not have their tonsils surgically removed solely to reduce the frequency of infection. The guidelines are being published today in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases.

About 15 million people in the U.S. see the doctor for a sore throat every year and up to 70 percent receive antibiotics, although only a smaller percentage actually have strep throat: approximately 20 to 30 percent of childr
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Contact: Ashley Mattys
amattys@pcipr.com
312-558-1770
Infectious Diseases Society of America
Source:Eurekalert

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