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Strep Throat in Infants

Although it is uncommon for children under the age of three to get strep throat, infants are able to catch this throat infection. Possible symptoms in infants include a low-grade fever, decreased appetite, and fussiness. For infants and children, a healthcare provider may prescribe liquid amoxicillin, which is easy to swallow and can help treat ear infections that commonly occur with strep throat.

Could My Infant Have Strep Throat? -- An Overview

As a type of throat infection, strep throat is caused by group A streptococcus bacteria (also called GAS or Streptococcus pyogenes). It occurs most often in children between the ages of 5 and 15, although it can occur in adults and infants. Strep throat is most frequently diagnosed during the late fall, winter, and early spring.
(Click Strep Throat Causes for more information about group A streptococcus.)

How Common Is It in Infants?

Strep throat is uncommon in infants and children under the age of three; but, on occasion, they do get strep.
Up to 30 percent of throat infections diagnosed in children between the ages of 5 and 15 are the result of strep throat. Older children often "catch" strep at school and then bring it home, infecting their younger siblings. Daycare is another place where strep throat is often spread.

How Is Strep Throat Spread?

Strep throat is contagious. It is spread through contact with infected throat mucus, nasal discharge, or saliva.
This can happen when an infected person sneezes or coughs and infected droplets spray into the air. The infected mucus can land in another person's nose, throat, or eyes, and enter their body. Strep bacteria can also be spread by touching a surface or object that has infectious fluids on it. When the person then touches their mouth, nose, or eyes, the bacteria can be spread.
It takes about two to four days after contact with the bacteria for a person to develop strep throat symptoms.
(Click Strep Throat Transmission for more information.)
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Strep Throat Information

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