2 area children die from strep throat; health officials urge prompt attention to symptoms

Strep throat
Strep throat(MGN)
Published: Mar. 15, 2023 at 1:01 PM CDT
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PEORIA (25News Now) - The Illinois Department of Public Health says strep throat is becoming more and more deadly.

2 children in Central Illinois have died from the infection in the past month.

OSF vice president Brian Curtis says strep is something that is most often seen in school-age children but not usually fatal.

“It’s not very common to have Group A strep cause a mortality,” he said. “It’s very easily treated in the ambulatory setting. If you have a fever, sore throat with swollen glands, that could be strep throat.”

IDPH is especially urging parents of children with any underlying conditions and strep symptoms to get them tested.

“And so now, it’s a little bit of a heightened situation where we have two very young children who unfortunately and sadly have lost their lives due to a Group A infection,” Peoria County Coroner Jamie Harwood said. “It’s warranted enough to warn people and say it’s out there. and what i don’t want people to believe is it’s just strep.”

Harwood says that if you have a child who shows strep-like symptoms, it’s best to get them to a doctor as soon as possible.

“You can take very, very healthy children, introduce the strep infection to them, and they are going to react differently,” he said. One child might do exceptionally well with the course of antibiotics, one might progress slower. They both might heal and become very healthy. They might progress to something worse.”