Last Saturday, the national health ministry issued an alert in the country due to the increase of a bacterium that causes pharyngitis and has already caused 118 infections and 16 deaths.

It is Streptococcus pyogenes that, like other diseases such as influenza and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), has seen its influence increase in populations following the COVID pandemic, a time in which various viruses and bacteria were “kept” and They do not circulate among people.

Within this framework, one insight emerges from the report: the population under 10 years of age is at highest risk of infection.

“Children under 10 years of age represent the most affected age group. They report that the observed increase may reflect an earlier onset of the season for this type of infection, which may reflect an increase in the circulation of respiratory viruses and their virulence.” co-infection, which in turn may increase the risk of developing invasive group A streptococcal disease. In the same statement, they say that the risk of invasive infection among the general population is currently low. ,” the statement warned.

And it elaborates that “with respect to the age of confirmed cases in 2023, the minimum age was 0 years and the maximum was 83 years, with a median of 16 years. Of the total confirmed cases, 51 (43.2%) were 10 years old.” were younger than.

With respect to the age of the deceased, a higher frequency can also be observed in the age group of 5 to 9 years, followed by the age group of 65 to 69 years. The statement released by the National Health Portfolio said that there has been a 281% increase in infections across the country as compared to the figures from a year ago.

“In Argentina, the onset of an increase in cases in late 2022 for the S.pyogenes incident coincides with an increase in respiratory virus prevalence in the same year. However, this relationship is not observed at the beginning of the year, with higher viral circulation in 2022.” also recorded, mainly influenza virus,” the statement said, adding that “this phenomenon has been monitored since 2018” and that 107 of the 118 cases corresponded to the “other invasive infection” phenomenon. 3 to “Bacterial meningoencephalitis”, and 8 to “Bacterial acute respiratory infection”.

And he added: “With regard to confirmed cases of invasive infection by Streptococcus pyogenes in the previous years (2019-2022), the highest number of cases were reported in 2022 (the closed year) with 75 reported cases. The number of cases shows an increase of 281% as compared to the same period in 2019.

Regarding the most affected regions, the provinces with the most confirmed cases in 2023 are Buenos Aires (35), Santa Fe (20), Chubut (10) and Tierra del Fuego (10). With respect to the epidemiological curve of 2023, it can be seen that S. Confirmed cases of invasive infection by pyogenes are reported every week, with an increase in them in the last weeks analyzed and a peak in Epidemiological Week (SE) 14 out of 25 cases.

most affected boys

Reviewing the statistics of various diseases, children are most affected by respiratory diseases and viruses during the winter season. With the arrival of the mid-year holidays, these paintings can threaten the comfort and create anxiety in the family environment.

Pediatrician Omar Tobacco, former president of the Argentine Pediatric Society (SAP), contributed to Infobay: “Streptococcus pyogenes is a bacterium that commonly causes pharyngitis, that is, infection in the pharynx, throat and sometimes with fever. Appears with, like a plaque with angina, other times a very red throat with some petechiae, which are small red spots on the palate or nodes, especially under the maxilla”.

“And sometimes this angina is accompanied by a skin rash, which we know as scarlet fever, which is the only rash that requires antibiotics. All the others are caused by viruses. A diagnosis of certainty is a Throat swabs, that is, culturing of the pharynx, through two methods: a rapid method, where results are available in about two hours, and it detects the presence of genetic material from the bacteria. The margin of error in angina is close to 10%, that is, up to 10% of patients who test negative may return a positive result after a culture, which takes three days. This is why We always use the same sample, we try to take a quick sample to make a decision at the moment, and then cultured with the same sample, which of course we have after 48 or 72 hours. And this helps a lot in the decision to give antibiotics for sore throat caused by streptococcus,” said the pediatrician specialist.

“It can also affect other parts of the body, as it is responsible for erysipelas, which is a skin infection, and impetigo, which is another type of skin infection that can also occur in children, and which is always very Diagnosis is easier as it is more obvious on physical examination.

Tobacco stressed that one of the most important things to know about Streptococcus pyogenes is that in some cases it can become more serious when the germ becomes invasive and enters the bloodstream. “So it’s already circulating in the blood, it can already be a much more serious infection and now that’s the warning because there are statistically many more cases of severe Streptococcus pyogenes at this time of year than other years.” There are cases,” he said.

And they concluded: “Like all eruptive diseases, they occur more frequently in childhood because many of us adults have had lifetime contact with streptococcus, to which we have antibodies, whereas boys do not. It’s the only rash that can recur because there are different strains of streptococcus, so one can make antibodies to one strain, but if another strain affects you, you can’t defend against that. That’s why scarlet fever is the only rash it can repeat. All other rashes, be it measles, chickenpox, rubella, it only happens once because there’s only one type of virus when antibodies are made. And then you’re immune for life.”

Pediatrician Fernando Burgos (MN 81759), member of the Scientific Department of the Vaccinate Foundation, told Infobay: “We can say that viruses and bacteria do not take holidays. Undoubtedly, the cold is present on vacation and, if rightly so, So it doesn’t cause diseases, it predisposes them. Changes occur at the local and immunological level causing viruses and bacteria to come into contact with vulnerable people, whose immune systems are not very strong”.

a known bacterium

Streptococcus pyogenes is a Gram-positive bacterium and is the most common bacterial cause of acute pharyngitis and skin infections such as impetigo, cellulitis, and scarlet fever. However, “rarely, infection can lead to aggressive disease that can be life-threatening and is responsible for more than 500,000 deaths annually worldwide.”

As he explained, transmission of this bacterium “occurs through close contact with an infected person and can be spread through coughing, sneezing, or contact with a wound”, and that “the incubation period for the disease is clinically significant”. Varies according to presentation, between 1 and 3 days”.

Similarly, with regard to treatment, the Health Portfolio indicated that “Infected people who receive antibiotics for at least 24 hours generally cease to spread.” “Pharyngitis is diagnosed using bacterial cultures and treated with antibiotics. Hand hygiene and personal hygiene can help control transmission,” he added.

what are the symptoms

Since this bacterium can cause acute pharyngitis, skin infections and scarlet fever, it is important to be aware of the symptoms of each illness. That is why the Ministry of Health highlighted:

Symptoms of pharyngitis are sore throat; Fever; Headache; stomach ache; nausea and vomiting; redness of the pharynx and tonsils; bad breath; Enlarged lumps in the neck.

With regard to scarlet fever, the most common symptoms are redness and sore throat; fever (38.3 ° C or higher); red rash with sandpaper texture; deep red skin in the folds of the armpits, elbows and groin; white coating on the back of the tongue or throat; “raspberry” tongue; Headache; nausea or vomiting; swollen glands; body pain

It is worth noting that, in the presence of some of these symptoms, “it is important to refrain from self-medication with antibiotics and to seek medical advice for timely diagnosis.” At the same time, they highlighted that “in case of receiving a medical indication for antibiotic treatment, it is essential to carry out the plan (not shorten or abandon the treatment too early), because inappropriate use of antibiotics promotes bacterial resistance.” is a fact that threatens their effectiveness in the future.

“Sick people should avoid going to public places (workplace, school) and restrict household contacts. It is also important to wash your hands frequently; do not share and adequately ventilate and regularly the environment”, he added in the statement and highlighted the importance of “up-to-date influenza and COVID-19 vaccinations, especially those with risk factors”. Poured.

hence. As he explained, pregnant people should get the flu or influenza vaccine in any trimester of pregnancy (if not vaccinated during pregnancy, the mother should do so within 10 days of delivery); Boys and girls 6 to 24 months of age who have not previously received two doses of influenza vaccine should receive 2 doses at least 4 weeks apart (those who have had at least two doses of influenza vaccine should receive only one dosage should be given).

In addition, at-risk groups should be vaccinated: people aged 2 to 64 who suffer from certain conditions such as respiratory and heart diseases; Diabetics; congenital or acquired immunodeficiency (not oncohematological); obese oncohematological patients and transplant recipients; cohabitants of oncohematological patients; People with chronic renal failure on dialysis or expecting to go on dialysis in the next six months.

Also people with severe maturational delay in children under 18 years of age; people who maintain long-term treatment with acetylsalicylic acid under the age of 18; people with genetic syndromes; Others, including cohorts of premature infants with neuromuscular diseases and birth weight less than 1,500 g, with respiratory disturbances and severe congenital malformations. All of the above, in order to receive the vaccine for free, only need to present a medical order (except for people with obesity, for whom it is not required).

Source link