Outbreaks and Public Health Response
Local or state public health officials may investigate clusters or outbreaks of invasive group A Streptococcus (group A strep) infections. The most common clusters investigated in the United States are those occurring in long-term care facilities. Other types of outbreak investigations include:
- Clusters of pharyngitis (strep throat) among school-aged children
- Healthcare-associated infections such as postpartum and post-surgical infections
- Foodborne outbreaks of pharyngitis, although these are rare in the United States
These clusters often require urgent public health action.
There is currently no vaccine to prevent group A strep infections, although several vaccines are in development.
Prophylaxis (pro-fuh-LAK-sis) is when providers give antibiotics to someone to prevent them from getting sick. Most people who are exposed to someone with a group A strep infection should not receive prophylaxis. However, in some situations, providers may recommend prophylaxis for someone exposed to an invasive group A strep infection. Invasive group A strep infections include pneumonia, necrotizing fasciitis and streptococcal toxic shock syndrome.