Potentially fatal strep throat cases are on the rise in the Peoria area

PEORIA – In his six years as Peoria County’s coroner, Jamie Harwood has never had a case of strep throat resulting in death until this year.

Since late February, two children in central Illinois have died after being hospitalized with strep: a 4-year-old Peoria girl and a 7-year-old Bloomington girl.

“Both were apparently healthy children who contracted a streptococcal infection. Both were treated appropriately, but unfortunately different people respond differently to antibiotics and to the treatment. Strep infections can increase despite the use of broad-spectrum antibiotics,” Harwood said. “That’s the case with these two girls – their condition kept getting worse, the strep kept spreading. It was a sad situation where their bodies just couldn’t handle the infection.”

What is Invasive Group A Streptococcus?

Strep virus.

Illnesses caused by group A strep bacteria, such as strep throat and scarlet fever, are common and generally cause mild illness, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Serious complications from strep occur when the bacteria migrate to other parts of the body for unknown reasons and become invasive.

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