Sepsis and Group A Streptococcus (GAS).
Group A Streptococcus, (Group A Strep) are bacteria found in the throat and on the skin. They are spread through airborne droplets when someone coughs or sneezes, or when someone touches a solid object where the droplet has landed and can cause a variety of infections.
Group A Strep bacteria can lead to mild infections such as strep throat, impetigo, sinusitis or ear infections.Occasionally, however, these bacteria can cause much more severe and life threatening diseases such as pneumonia, cellulitis and toxic shock syndrome which can lead to sepsis. Sepsis is the body’s extreme reaction to infection. The body attacks its own organs and tissues which can lead to tissue damage, organ failure and death.
Invasive Group A Strep Disease.
Group A strep can commonly exist in your throat and nose and on your skin, causing mild infections. However, if these bacteria enter your lungs, blood stream or muscle tissue, they can cause serious infections and toxic shock syndrome. When this happens it is referred to as Invasive Group A strep Infection.
Symptoms can be many and can include:
- Low Blood Pressure
- Severe pain
If an infection is at a wound site:
- Swelling and redness at wound site
- Rash and abdominal pain
If an infection progresses to scarlet fever or toxic shock syndrome:
- Muscle pain
Close contact with another person with group A strep is the most common risk factor. Adults in touch with school aged children are at increased risk. Individuals with skin cuts, surgical wounds are at higher risk of the bacteria entering the body.
A diagnosis is made through a laboratory test.
Treatment is provided through the use of effective common antibiotics and iv fluids. Penicillin is the drug of choice for both mild and severe diseases. Early treatment for Group A strep infections is critical to preventing serious illness and even death. People who have necrotizing fasciitis, may need surgery to remove the affected tissue..
The spread of Group A streptococcal infections may be reduced by good hand washing, especially after coughing and sneezing, and before eating, Keeping all wounds clean is very important. Persons with sore throats should be seen by a physician
This information is presented in collaboration with Stella Saves Lives (www.stellasaveslives.org)