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Strep Throat Complications

Although the body will typically cure strep throat on its own, leaving this infection untreated can possibly cause dangerous complications. Strep throat can cause problems such as middle ear infections, peritonsillar abscesses, and sinusitis. Some of the other, less common problems that may occur if this condition is left untreated include scarlet fever, meningitis, and brain abscess.

Complications of Strep Throat: An Overview

Strep throat is a mild illness caused by an infection with group A streptococcus bacteria. Research has shown that even if left untreated, the body will cure this infection on its own most of the time.
However, for anyone diagnosed with strep throat, treatment with an antibiotic is recommended. One of the reasons is that untreated strep throat increases the chances of complications. Some of these possible complications of strep throat can be potentially dangerous.
Treatment with antibiotics almost always eliminates the chance of these complications.

Specific Strep Throat Complications

Possible complications of strep throat include:
A coexisting middle ear infection is one of the most common problems seen with strep throat. It occurs in up to 15 percent of children diagnosed with strep throat.

Less Common Complications

Other, less common complications that can occur with untreated strep throat include:
  • Scarlet fever
  • Acute rheumatic fever
  • Certain types of kidney problems (poststreptococcal glomerulonephritis)
  • Necrotizing fasciitis
  • PANDAS syndrome (Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorder associated with group A Streptococci)
  • Streptococcal toxic shock syndrome
  • Bacteremia
  • Meningitis
  • Brain abscess.
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Strep Throat Information

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