Strep throat is a type of throat infection caused by bacteria. It occurs most often in children between the ages of 5 and 15, although it can occur in younger children and adults. Strep throat is most frequently diagnosed during the late fall, winter, and early spring.
Strep throat is the most common type of bacterial throat infection. It is caused by group A streptococcus bacteria (GAS for short). The scientific name for these bacteria is Streptococcus pyogenes.
Up to 30 percent of throat infections diagnosed in children between the ages of 5 and 15 are the result of strep throat. Adults and infants can also get strep throat, although it is less common. Up to 10 percent of adults who seek medical care for a sore throat
are diagnosed with strep throat.
Although common, strep throat is not the most likely reason for a sore throat. Up to 50 percent of sore throats are caused by an infection with a virus.