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.

Outbreak Control Measures


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.


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