Home Health New Strain of Strep-A Proves Deadly 

New Strain of Strep-A Proves Deadly 

by Monse Quintana Ramos

Experts still don’t know the exact cause of the increase in cases in Canada

White hand graphic on black hand sanitizer stand
A hand sanitizer stand at Toronto Metropolitan University (Monserrat Quintana/OTR)

Recent reports show that cases of an aggressive form of strep throat, called Streptococcus-A, is on the rise in Canada. 

The infection was even linked to the death of four children in British Columbia. 

According to Toronto Health’s FAQ page on invasive Strep, “bacteria are spread through direct contact with secretions from the nose or throat of people who are infected.”

“Since before the pandemic, there’s a lot of transmissions, sadly, among under-housed individuals or people who live in crowded settings, often in low-income areas,” said Isaac Bogoch, associate professor in the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Medicine and Clinician Investigator at Toronto General Hospital Research Institute.“ But there might also be a different strain of the bacteria that may be more prone to causing invasive disease.”

“Watch out for the signs and symptoms of suddenly increasing fever—not just a tiny little fever you get with influenza, but the thing that begins to spike upwards, and a person is now beginning to lose consciousness, often accompanied by rash and things like that,” said Timothy Sly, epidemiologist and professor emeritus at Toronto Metropolitan University. 

According to experts, some people might not show symptoms. Step A also has similar symptoms as the flu or a cold. So swab tests for Strep-A administered by a doctor are recommended to confirm a diagnosis. 

Strep-A can be treated with antibiotics if diagnosed early enough. 

According to Anna Madison, a Health Canada spokesperson, the invasive type of Strep-A is mostly found in children and seniors.

However, experts say this won’t be another COVID-19 situation. “You do get some person-to-person spread, but it’s not the kind of thing we should be worried about like that,” said Sly.

Journalist

Reporter, On The Record, winter 2024

This article may have been created with the use of AI software such as Google Docs, Grammarly, and/or Otter.ai for transcription.

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